Posted inRural Issues

5-Year Legal Battle Pays Off for Black Residents Who Sued Their City for Condemning Their Properties

Joseph Askew Sr. reveled in good news on a recent Sunday afternoon. The 77-year-old retiree has been in a legal battle to keep his historic properties from being destroyed by the city officials in his hometown, Kinston, North Carolina. Already, they’ve demolished some of his properties. He contends it's because of his race because officials […]

Posted inEminent Domain, Infrastructure, Partner Content

Black Women Say An Amtrak Project Threatens Their Baltimore Neighborhood’s Homes — and Children

Originally published by The 19th Angel St. Jean has seen big improvements to the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore since she moved there 11 years ago. The historic, now majority-Black community had long been considered “perpetually up and coming,” she said, and parts of it had been underdeveloped for some time. In recent years, however, […]

Posted inNews, Rural Issues, Voting

After Years of Litigation, First Black Mayor in Rural Alabama Town Gets to Serve

Patrick Braxton is overwhelmed with gratitude. He’s been juggling a yearslong legal battle to serve as the lawful mayor of his hometown, Newbern, Alabama. After years of harassment, his rural town enters a new chapter: Its first Black mayor will finally get to serve. Braxton will be reinstated as mayor of Newbern, according to a […]

Posted inEnvironmental Justice, Infrastructure, Partner Content, Rural Issues

How Alabama Turned to Restrictive Deed Covenants to Ward Off Flooding Claims From Black Residents

This story was originally published by Inside Climate News. SHILOH COMMUNITY, Ala.—Their land is bound forever. The deeds of three homeowners — Pastor Timothy Williams, Aretha Wright, and Page Jones — all living in the historically Black Shiloh community of south Alabama, tell the tale.  Restrictive covenants attached to their deeds limit the ability of current and […]

Posted inRural Issues

This City Wants to Raze Black Properties, at the Cost of Generational Wealth.

On the east side of Kinston, North Carolina, historic buildings still bear the original architecture. Whether it’s on Queen Street, where formerly enslaved people became entrepreneurs, or Gordon Street, the neighborhood’s significance is clear. The rural North Carolina town was once known as a thriving tobacco and textile manufacturing industry and the birthplace of funk […]

Posted inEminent Domain, Money, Rural Issues

Rural Georgia Community Keeps Fighting Despite Railroad’s Win to Take Their Land

After a year-long legal battle with a railroad company over their land, landowners in a rural, majority-Black town in Georgia may be forced to sell their homes. In an initial decision on Monday, a Georgia Public Service Commission officer approved a proposed rail spur in Sparta. Several property owners had refused to sell the land […]

Posted inCulture, History, Rural Issues

The Fight to Protect One of America's Last Historic Black Communities

ROYAL, Florida — The calmness of the wind reverberated across the burial ground as Beverly Steele motioned to her mother’s grave in Oak Hill Cemetery. Three months ago, they buried her here, just 12 days shy of her 102nd birthday. It’s not uncommon for residents in the majority-Black, unincorporated community of Royal, Florida, to live […]