19 Black families buy 97 acres of Georgia land to create ‘Freedom’

19 Black families came together to purchase nearly 100 acres of land in Wilkinson County, Georgia

Real estate agent Ashley Scott was looking for some way to participate in the nationwide movement against police brutality and systemic racism without joining protests in the streets. She didn’t want to expose herself or her family to COVID-19, but she wanted to make an impact.

That’s when her friend and fellow entrepreneur Renee Walters told her about a town for sale.

“The foundation of our structure is where the problem is,” Scott said. “Finding a town, it felt like OK this is how you change the foundation of the structure.”

In June, the pair went to visit the tiny town of Toomsboro, Georgia – which it turned out was not actually for sale – where they met dozens of other Black investors and scoped out nearby pieces of property. When they came upon a plot of nearly 97 acres of land in rural Wilkinson County, Georgia, Scott said “it spoke to my spirit.”

“It was like the ancestors were like ‘this is it,'” she said. 

Ashley Scott and Renee Walters embrace on the land they helped purchase in Georgia.

Over the next 45 days, Scott said she and Walters created the Freedom Georgia Initiative and recruited 17 other Black families to purchase the land with hopes of developing it into an “authentic Black community and culture that feels safe, feels prosperous.” 

Walters, the president of Freedom Georgia Initiative, said the neighboring communities have been welcoming and the only negative reactions the group has seen have been from “internet trolls.” She was quick to dispel the misconception that the land is exclusively for Black families.

Read More: 19 Black families buy 97 acres of Georgia land to create ‘Freedom’

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