A group of 19 Black families banned together to purchase what some are calling the new Black Wall Street. The website states that their vision is to “develop our vast resource-rich 96.71 acres of land in Toomsboro, GA for the establishment of an innovative community for environmentally sustainable-living, health & wellness, agricultural & economic development, arts & culture for generations to come. Our aim is to be a premier recreational, educational, and cultural destination for Black families across the African diaspora. We welcome you, your family, and all Black allies to support us in our vision to be the change we want to see!“
Ashley Scott was a realtor living in Stonecrest, Georgia and was reaching her breaking point after watching the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. In a Blavity op-ed, she wrote that she was distraught, and for the first time in her life, she felt disempowered, which caused her to seek help.
“I sought counseling from a Black therapist, and it helped. It helped me to realize that what we as Black people are suffering from is racial trauma. We are dealing with systemic racism. We are dealing with deep-rooted issues that will require more than protesting in the streets,” Scott wrote. “It will take for us as a people, as Atlanta rapper and activist Killer Mike so eloquently put, “To plot, plan, strategize, organize and mobilize.” So that’s what I and my good friend Renee Walters, an entrepreneur and investor, did.“
After attending local zoning and city council meetings, Scott said she realized creating a new city would create change and build “real Black power… We figured we could try to fix a broken system, or we could start fresh. Start a city that could be a shining example of being the change you want to see. We wanted to be more involved in creating the lives we really want for our Black families… And maybe, just maybe, create some generational wealth for ourselves by investing in the land. Investing in creating a community that is built around our core values and beliefs.”
The Freedom Georgia Initiative website states “When the “Toomsboro, GA For Sale” site went viral we thought it would be cool to create a New Black Wallstreet and revitalize a small town that could use some development and jobs. Upon arriving at the open house for the parcels of land, residential units, and commercial properties that were for sale at $1.7M we learned the City of Toomsboro was not completely for sale. We also learned that it had a small-town culture, a black woman mayor (shout out to Mayor Joyce Denson), and a Black Chief of Police that is ready for good things to come to their community rather than the 20-minute commute they have to take to other cities.“
The founding families intend to build homes, farms, and generational wealth for their families. We pledge to provide opportunities to black-owned and women-owned vendors and contractors in the development of our community. Moreover, we hope to create an apprentice program and provide consultation to other small collectives that too want to build it for themselves!
They are extending an invitation for everyone to join them at their first Big Black Campout:
“Hey Fam! We wanted to formally invite you to our land in Toomsboro, GA with a special event that we thought would allow everyone to appropriately social distance while turning up. Thus, the BIG BLACK Campout was born in hopes of bringing #blackcampers and first time campers together for an EPIC experience on our newly acquire 96.71 acres of land. (Sorry, but we will never get tired of saying 96.71 acres of land 🤷🏾♀️😁 ) And, we hope that you will grab your family, your camping crew, that one adventurous homie and roadtrip or RV on down during Labor Day Weekend, because what else do you have better to do?“
You can help the Freedom Georgia Initiative by donating to their GoFundMe campaign here: https://gf.me/u/yjm62q. You can learn more about them by visiting their website at www.thefreedomgeorgiainitiative.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FreedomGA2020.