Document Type

Honors Project


Despite some social and political changes in the post-reconstruction and post-apartheid eras of the United States and South Africa, land has remained a commodified and privatized resource that has enabled capitalism to flourish in an individualistic, highly competitive, and profit-driven manner. The modern land reform processes of the Western Cape, South Africa demonstrate how neo-liberal land policies pose numerous constraints to the financial development of historically disadvantaged groups such as women. However, black women during the sharecropping era of the Mississippi Delta (1877-1950), reveal the ways in which disenfranchised women have the ability to be grassroots activists and change agents in the most capitalist, patriarchal, white supremacist communities. These research methodologies in South Africa and the U.S. differ in regards to their historical and geographical location, but feminist epistemology provides the analysis needed to bridge these studies in women’s livelihoods and land ownership.



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