WILKINSON COUNTY, Ga. — A group of Black families purchased nearly 100 acres in Georgia to create a city that would be a safe place for Black people.
The Freedom Georgia Initiative, a group of 19 Black families, got together in July and bought the 97 acres and have lofty goals for the land.
“We anticipate on being the eighth city in Wilkinson County and to be the city of Freedom, Georgia, is on our radar,” Ashley Scott, vice president of the group, told WGXA. “We want especially our Black families to come to be pioneers with us.”
It started after Scott got a call from her friend Renee Walters about a widely read story about land for sale near the town of Toomsboro, CNN reported. They found out about a swath of land available and because of the anxiety they felt for their families amid the unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd, worked to buy it to create a safe space.
The group still has a long way to go to meet state requirements to gain a city charter including acquiring more land and increasing the number of people living within it but they are hopeful to expand rapidly.
“We thought it would be a five to ten-year process, but with the outpouring of support that we’ve gotten we can make this happen much faster,” Scott said. “As soon as we can acquire the land, the people, the bodies we are going to be pushing this.”
The group hopes to install Wi-Fi, water and other infrastructure while planning residential, retail and recreation areas.
The group does not want their message to be misconstrued.
“At the end of the day we aren’t about doing reverse racism or reverse redlining,” Scott said. “We just want to have a space, a place where Black people and pro-Black people can live and breath without the injustices we are facing in our current cities and societies.”