The West Alabama Highway Project (WAH Project), announced on November 12th, 2021, creates a four-lane, north-south highway from Thomasville to Moundville. It will widen the existing Highway 43, which passes through our family’s property. The state broke ground north of us in November.
The state of Alabama wants to seize 20 acres from us, including four of our homes, through eminent domain for the highway expansion–an excessive amount of land that is not necessary in order to complete the project. It will impact 120 acres of our homestead.
The state is threatening the livelihoods, heritage, and homes of of our family, that has lived in Dixons Mills for over 100 years. We are descended from African American and Native American ancestors, who worked hard as sharecroppers to provide this land for their descendants to live on. Today, our family uses this land to farm, fish, hunt, and raise livestock. 75 family members live on the land. We consider it the base of our freedom and our safe haven. That safety is now being threatened.
Four homes with 11 family members would be directly displaced by the WAH Project:
Nathan Moore’s home (2 residents)
Joseph Moore’s home (4 residents)
Marolyn Moore’s home (3 residents)
Russell Moore’s home (2 residents)
We are not opposed to the highway project. We are willing to work with the State Design Engineer, Stan Biddick, to help the WAH Project move forward without the destruction of our homes.
The current proposed map for the WAH Project would take land in the range of 190 - 225 feet from the east side of the existing highway. It appears that the state only needs 94 feet from the existing asphalt to widen the lanes, meaning the state is attempting to take an additional 96 – 131 feet of land from our family, which will result in the destruction of homes. The state can narrow the portion of the project that routes through our community and preserve our family’s homes. We are willing to provide an easement to the state.
Alternatively to save our homes, the state could have pursued the highway project according to the plan mapped out 30 years ago. That route would save our homes and the wetlands that the state has identified on our property.
Why This Matters
This land is essential to the Moore family. Nathan Moore is a Desert Storm Veteran who has lived in his home for over 35 years. Joseph Moore is a farmer and small business owner who has worked on this land since childhood. Marolyn Moore is a primary school educator who was born across the street, and has been living in her home for over 30 years. Russell Moore is a Vietnam and Desert Storm Veteran who has lived in his home for over 45 years. He hopes for his home to be his final resting place.
Should the state of Alabama seize these homes, these families would be displaced. Crop land and pastures would be destroyed. This is an unnecessary land seizure that would cause far more harm than good.
This is not the first time the Moore family has experienced the loss of hard-earned property for a road project. In 1923, when the first Highway 43 was built, the state of Alabama seized land from our ancestors, and were not paid a single cent in the process. The mills at the center of Dixons Mills, which served as the namesake for the town and as a major source of support for Black families, were demolished.
The Moore family is extremely supportive of progress, and we are willing to sacrifice some of our land for construction easements. The completion of the WAH Project and the preservation of our family’s homes, community, and heritage can both be achieved.
Thank you so much for visiting.
If you have any questions or want to help, please contact Dea with our friends at the Institute for Justice at Dea@SeizeNoMooreHomes.com.