Tyler Perry is coming to the rescue of a 93-year-old woman so she can keep the South Carolina home her family has owned since the Civil War era.
via: Daily Mail
Josephine Wright’s bungalow in Hilton Head, Carolina sits in the middle of an area being developed by Bailey Point Investment.
They wanted to buy her land, but she refused: they have since sued her, claiming parts of her property are on their land.
‘I’ve been pretty much a fighter all my life,’ she said. ‘It puzzled me at first. But then it got me angry.’
Perry, the billionaire film producers and studio owner based in Atlanta, Georgia, saw the local news report about her case and has now said he wants to help.
Perry wrote on Twitter: ”I’ve pretty much been a fighter all my life’ said 93 year old Josephine Wright. Well, that makes two of us.
‘Ms. Wright, please tell where to show up and what you need to help you fight.’
Film producer Will Packer commented: ‘I also got Ms. Josephine’s back. Count me in TP.’
Singer Fantasia agreed, adding: ‘I will stand with you as well Tyler.’
Wright told WSAV that the property had been her family’s home for generations.
‘This house means it’s a home, a place where I want to be at this age,’ she said.
It has been in the family since just after the Civil War.
Her husband was a Gullah Geechee Islander, descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and Sea Island cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic coast along the Carolinas. Many came from rice-growing regions of West Africa.
His relatives were escaped slaves and were freed by Union soldiers.
Bailey Point has started construction of a 147-unit site, set over 29 acres.
They wanted to buy her land: when she said no, she claimed a campaign of harassment begun. She said her tires were slashed, trash thrown on her property and a snake hung from one of her windows.
Bailey Point says Wright is blocking their construction progress, and they have sued her, accusing her of having her porch on their land.
Wright already paid to move a shed, which cost about $1,900, and got rid of a satellite dish.
Former State Representative Bakari Sellers is now working with Wright’s legal team, and is asking people to call the developer and lawmakers to help Wright keep her property.
‘We sent a letter two weeks ago simply asking the developer to communicate. Simply asking the developer to speak to us. Speak to her. Just to have a common conversation about how to move forward,’ said Sellers.
‘I think more disrespectful than a no is a non-response.’
Wright has a lawyer and is fighting the lawsuit, but her family is asking for help paying the legal bills for that battle. A GoFundMe has been set up to help Josephine with her legal expenses.
‘We are very big on generational wealth, or trying to accrue it,’ explained Sellers.
‘When you talk about poverty in our communities it’s because we don’t have land, and when we do, people want to take it away.
‘There are a lot of people to pick on. Pick on me.
‘Don’t pick on a 93-year-old woman who has lived her life doing nothing wrong.’
Wright’s neighbors are now involved, working to protect her and the land.
‘We don’t have the right to change what has already been approved; that ship has sailed. We can’t change the zoning,’ said Kelly LeBlanc, part of the newly formed Jonesville Preservation Society.
‘The town is looking very closely at the permitting, at the approval phase. The town is making sure it is done to the letter of the law.’
Wright said she intended to fight to keep her home.
‘I guess they figured I would become so unnerved with the harassment that I would say take it. But they don’t know me. I am here to fight for what I have,’ she said.
‘I don’t want to say anything that can be used against me, but I think they are unscrupulous and greedy and they want all the property they can get their hands on.’
Perry is known for his generosity, particularly in the Atlanta area.
In February, he made a $2.75 million donation to assist low-income seniors with their property tax payments through the Invest Atlanta Partnership nonprofit.
He had already donated $750,000 for the first year to cover the back taxes and any increase in property taxes, and has pledged $500,000 each year over the next four years to ensure the residents don’t pay any more in such taxes.
Perry hosts annual food giveaways in time for Thanksgiving, and has helped out numerous organizations that have fallen victim to criminals.
His charitable efforts also include building a home for a great-grandmother of seven who lost everything in a fire; surprising kids with a trip to Disney World; and holding a camp quarantine at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.