Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023
    Land Dispute Threatens Historic Black-Owned Property on Hilton Head Island

    Josephine Wright, a 93-year-old resident of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, is currently embroiled in a legal battle to protect her family-owned land from a property developer. The 1.8-acre parcel of land has been in her late husband’s family since the Civil War. However, Georgia-based Bailey Point Investment, LLC plans to build a residential development next door, which threatens the peaceful existence that Wright and her husband cherished.

    Bailey Point offered Wright $30,000 for her land, which she declined. In response, the developer filed a lawsuit against Wright, claiming that structures on her property were encroaching on their land and causing delays in development. Wright and her granddaughter, Tracey Love Graves, have since removed the shed and satellite dish, but Wright decided to file a counterclaim, accusing Bailey Point of intimidation, harassment, and trespassing.

    This legal battle sheds light on the historical expropriation of Black-owned land. The Gullah Geechee people, descendants of enslaved Africans along the Atlantic coast, have long faced land battles with developers. Wright’s late husband was Gullah Geechee, further highlighting the significance of this case. Civil rights attorney Bakari Sellers, who is advocating for Wright, emphasizes the value of the Gullah Geechee people’s land and the ongoing struggle they face.

    Wright hopes that her fight will inspire other Black landowners on Hilton Head Island to defend their properties. The attention her case has garnered from celebrities such as Kyrie Irving and Tyler Perry showcases the significance of this issue and the support she has received. Ultimately, Wright simply wants to live in peace and retain ownership of her cherished family land.


    – The Post and Courier
    – CNN
    – CBS News