Successful heirs’ property reform – the Uniform Partition Heirs’ Property Act (UPHPA) – is widespread in the U.S. Despite these advancements, Louisiana falls behind. Louisiana is the only state in the Deep South that has not enacted legal reform to protect heirs’ property owners. Heirs’ property locks many Black Americans into persistent poverty and economic oppression, eliminating generations of Black American wealth. This research note describes and examines these issues. Articulating the history of systemic legal oppression of Black land ownership, this article demonstrates how the current legal state shuns Black Americans economically and socio-politically disadvantages them and examines how enacting the UPHPA could help Black Louisianans achieve economic stability.

Publication Date


Research Center

Southern Rural Development Center



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