Nineteen African-American families have rallied to support the cause of building their own town and providing people of color with a “safe space.”
The group has reportedly purchased a 97-acre plot of land in rural Georgia where they plan on building “a thriving safe haven for people of color, for black families in particular.”
As the masterminds behind the project explained, the cooperative town will be called Freedom whereas it will be located in Wilkinson County in Georgia.
According to Renee Walters, an entrepreneur and investor, and her friend Ashley Scott, a real estate agent, they decided to build their own ‘Wakanda’ where Black people will be able to feel safe and welcome.
“We figured we could try to fix a broken system or we could start fresh. This is how we build our new Black Wall Streets. We can do this. We can have Wakanda. We just have to build it for ourselves,” Scott explained.
As the real estate agent told CNN, white people will be allowed in the city but they intend to keep it pro-Black “in every way.”
“It’s impossible to have anything exclusively black because our families are integrated. We are an integrated, tolerant and diverse community even as Black people, so we don’t intend for it to be exclusively Black, but we do intend for it to be pro Black in every way,” Scott said.
“So much land was stolen from black people. So much land was stolen from indigenous peoples. So, to be able to come back and reclaim this land from whoever may have had it, because we don’t know the story and that’s the reality. We don’t know so many of our stories, but we can make a new story and that’s what we hope to do here.”
As the organizers of the massive project explained, they have already started fundraisers to secure funds required to kick off the project.
Once the building phase starts, Scott and Walters plan on developing the city in several stages. During the first phase, they plan to clear and farm the land and come up with an artificial lake that would serve as a source of food.
Before the safe haven could be recognized as a city, the group has to ensure a series of strict requirements is met. In addition, a city charter has to be approved by the Georgia General Assembly.
“Sometimes folks want new cities because they don’t like who is elected currently, and that’s not always a great reason, because you can run for office against that person if you don’t like who represents you,” Rusi Patel of the Georgia Municipal Association said.
As Patel added, “a new city basically has two years to get themselves up and running before that law kicks in.”
Despite the challenges ahead, Scott remains determined to pursue their plan and “create a space and a place where we could be a village, again, a tribe, again.”
“Watching our people protesting in the streets, while it is important, and I want people to stay out in the streets, bringing attention to the injustices of black people,” she said. “We needed to create a space and a place where we could be a village, again, a tribe, again. We wanted to create this safe space where we can address our own issues and concerns.”
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