Discover Auburn-Heirs Property, Critical Race Theory and Reparations

Published: October 31, 2022

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The final program in the fall 2022 Discover Auburn Lecture Series, “Land in Alabama: Heirs Property, Critical Race Theory, and Reparations,” looks at “heirs” property and the myriad of issues this form of inheritance of property has caused for Black families in Alabama. The program will be led by Conner Bailey, professor emeritus of rural sociology, on Nov. 3, at 3 p.m. in the Caroline Marshall Draughon Auditorium on the ground floor of Ralph Brown Draughon Library.

Heirs property refers to the property of a landowner who dies without a probated will. Laws surrounding heirs property are recognized as a leading cause of Black involuntary land loss in the South. Bailey will discuss how such stratagems played out over the past 70 years, displacing the Gullah/Geechee (an Afro-indigenous population) in favor of luxury homes, golf courses and resorts along an area of sea islands and coastal Lowcountry coastal counties in Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas. Critical race theory is used to explain historical and institutional processes resulting in the prevalence of heirs property. A mechanism to provide reparations for the wrongful taking of land and homes is proposed.

The public is welcome. Attendees may participate in person or via Zoom at:

Submitted by: Jayson Hill