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Heirs' Property: Holding Fast to a Dream

Land

Landownership is a source of freedom and financial security and a tool for self-realization for African Americans. In the Gullah regions of South Carolina and other similar sites, African Americans acquired land and passed it down through the generations absent of legal documentation. The practice goes as far back as the period of emancipation. With each generation, the ownership is divided among the numerous descendants and is recognized as “heirs’ property.” Today, descendant landowners struggle to hold on to family property as they fight developers and others who seek to seize the land based on legal loopholes.