Sandhills Family Heritage Association
Purpose Prize Fellow 2006
Building sustainable communities through family land ownership, economic self-sufficiency, and cultural heritage preservation
Ammie McRae Jenkins, 65, sees land as the center of family and community life in the rural South – a source of income, food, medicine, culture, history, and self sufficiency. When she was a child, her family lost their land and means of family support that was connected to the land. In 2001, Jenkins founded the Sandhills Family Heritage Association to stem the loss of African-American family land and preserve the natural and cultural heritage of African Americans whose family roots are in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Jenkins developed heritage tours to educate and celebrate the achievements of African Americans and conducted oral history interviews to document the lives of local individuals and families. The Sandhills Family Heritage Association is now working with national and regional organizations to establish a national Black land trust to help African Americans retain and regain lands that were lost by theft, intimidation or discrimination.