Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tags Posts tagged with "Gullah Geechee"

Gullah Geechee

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In a disturbing report, first published with the BBC, it appears that the Gullah Geechee community of Plantersville, South Carolina is fighting to keep their land, all due to fees for services they are not even using. Last week 20 homes were put up to be auctioned in a city bidding spree. Lillian Milton did not find out about here home until she had went down to the tax office to settle her tax bill.  She was told her home had been sold because she never paid a $250 sewer bill – a sewer system that she was not using at this time.

According to reports written by Brian Wheeler, Milton stated, “They had sold everything, the property, the house and all and when I offered to pay them with a check, they told me I couldn’t. I had to get cash money – 880 some dollars that I had to pay them to get my place back.” Not long after this saga, Milton suffered a heart-attack, which she believes was brought on by the stress of the treat that she would lose her house and her property.

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BBC.com

By the way, Milton’s home and property was valued at around $46,000, the real-estate developer who bought her property purchased it for $1,236!  Luckily, if your home is sold at an auction, the owner has one year to pay the bill in order to prevent having the land taken.

Plantersville is prime real-estate.  All who live here, like many of us are the direct descendants of slaves – and the community of Plantersville is all developed on heirs property.  This Gullah Geechee land has been passed down for generations, and according to Rev. Ben Grate, more than a million Gullah Geechee descendant across america have a share of this land, and don’t even know.

Please read the full version of this fight to keep the Gullah Geechee land with who it belongs – its rightful descendants.

“We are the only gullah-geechee land that is in tact.  And owners of land, and tradition, and a way of life.” -Gullah Geechee resident of Plantersville, SC

gullahmuseum
BBC.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: BBC

 

 

 

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina's source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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The Gullah Geechee community along the Georgia Coast, in Sapelo Island is currently in the process of suing the state of Georgia along with a few counties. Sapelo Island is located approximately 60 miles south of Savannah; the residents of this historic Gullah Geechee community have accused the State/counties of discrimination and neglect.

Like our great city of Charleston, SC, the property taxes on Sapelo continue to increase, however residents are complaining they don’t receive basic services from McIntosh County or Georgia. The high taxes and lack of services have become a real danger, making it nearly impossible for residents to stay there. The tricky part is, the State of Georgia claims to own 97 percent of the island, but according to the lawsuit, “ownership stake is based on a history of fraudulent land transfers and land theft by white millionaires throughout the twentieth century.” (again, Sounds familiar).

Their lawsuit also claims that zoning ordinances have continuously favored white developers who have built vacation homes, which violate zoning requirements. In an AP interview, Reginald Hall, 49 who lives in Ohio but vacations on his family’s property on Sapelo said this roots on Sapelo go back 224 years; he is leading the effort to protect his community. He says, “We’re looking for those protections to say our survival and sustainability is more important than vacation homes and losing the land by measures we consider illegal.

Attorneys for McIntosh County claim to be shocked by the lawsuit because in 2012, when residents complained about the rise in property taxes, they county reassessed and taxes were rolled back for every resident of Sapelo. However, the community is concerned that the taxes are still to high. In correlation with the high taxes, residents also claim the county doesn’t provide a modern sewer system, maintain roads, or provide emergency services on the island, but they continue to collect taxes from island residents. They also claim that garbage fees are paid annually by residents and these fees should guarantee curbside garbage collection, which is does for the mainland, but not for the Gullah Geechee residents on the island.

The fear with this community is in line with the fear many have had throughout the 400+ miles of Gullah Geechee territory that spans from the Carolinas to Florida.  Property taxes slowly increase over time, everyone including the city government know that residents who are older and still live in these areas cannot afford to pay these fees.  Families end up losing their homes and rich developers are able to purchase this and for fractions of what its worth.  In turn, they turn the land into pricey real estate worth millions.  We have seen this over and over again, and its obvious that this is what the island of Sapelo wants to prevent.  Also, we know how much rich developers love the water, so they are looking at the island of Sapelo like a mega cash-cow.

As a resident of Charleston, SC, we can understand completely what these residents are experiencing. We fully support of family in the Gullah Geechee islands of Georgia, and we hope they kick ass in this suit!

Syllabus Magazine, the Carolina's source for Music, Culture and Fashion

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