Land access is incredibly important, and in the US land access is often tied to land ownership. For some rural landowners a form of ownership known as “heir property” has led to certain vulnerabilities, and even to dispossession. This phenomenon also disproportionately effects marginalized communities. But what exactly is heir property. In this episode, Dr. Kara Woods explains this type of ownership and its impacts on land owners and rural communities.
Dr. Kara Woods is a native of Montgomery, AL, and alum of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she graduated with honors in the Criminal Justice department and the University Honors Program. Kara has held internships with two Congressional members and has served as the Deputy Director of the Get Out and Vote campaign in Macon County, Al. She recently earned a Ph.D. in Integrative Public Policy and Development from Tuskegee University, being the first graduate with a social science Ph.D. in Tuskegee history. Her dissertation titled: “Trust God And Go To Work”: The Relationship Between Heir Property, Social Institutions, And Civic Participation In Macon County, Alabama,” concentrates on the social, economic, and political impact of heir property on the individual and community. She currently serves as a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Tuskegee University and panels webinars in the effort to connect general bridges to eradicate heir property and encourage land ownership. Her objective as a professional is to use her skills to foster community development, establish interpersonal relations, and advocate for social policy change but most importantly, she is the daughter of Janet and Darryl Woods and sister of Kayla Woods. Kara along with two black girl magic powerhouses host the podcast “with AUDACITY.”
- Leo McGee and Robert Boone. 1979. The Black Rural Landowner- Endangered Species: Social, Political, and Economic Implications. Greenwood Press Inc.
- Stack, Carol. 1996. Call to Home: African Americans Reclaim the Rural South. Contemporary Sociology. New York: Basic Books.
- Woods, Kara. 2020. “Trust God And Go To Work”: The Relationship Between Heir Property, Social Institutions, And Civic Participation In Macon County, Alabama. Doctorate Dissertation. Doctor Of Philosophy In Integrative Public Policy And Development , Tuskegee University, Tuskegee
- Zabawa, Robert., Siaway, A., & Baharanyi, N. 1990. “The Decline of Black Farmers and Strategies for Survival.” Southern Rural Sociology 7: 106–2