Updated: Sep 21, 2021
Imagine your family-owned land (passed down by your ancestors for hundreds of years) auctioned off to the highest bidder because you couldn't afford to pay the property taxes?
Thanks to the Pan-African Family Empowerment & Land Preservation Network, Inc. (Network) – a non-profit that advocates for the preservation of homes and land owned by the Gullah and Geechee peoples – Gullah Geechee leaders on St. Helena Island, SC are rallying to save land owned and occupied by their ancestors for hundreds of years.
Since 2015, the Network has raised thousands of dollars to help Gullah Geechee families pay their property taxes, resulting in over $2.5 million worth of properties saved to date.
According to community elder Sara’ Reynolds Green, owner of Marshview Community Organic Farm, most of the residents that live on the remote island earn less than $13/hour. The COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on wages and employment have made it even harder for many to pay their back taxes.