A group of 19 Black families in Georgia has purchased nearly 97 acres of land to create a “safe haven for people of color,” CNN reported Saturday.
The land, which was purchased by the families in August, is located just east of Macon in rural Wilkinson County, Ga. The purchase was organized by the Freedom Georgia Initiative, a group that co-founder and Vice President Ashley Scott said is necessary to promote a strong community among Blacks following the civil unrest prompted by the killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
“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. We needed to create a space and a place where we could be a village, again, a tribe, again," Scott told CNN.
The group intends to create a new city on the land and name it “Freedom Georgia.” Scott said that while the city is not meant to be for Blacks exclusively, it will be “pro-Black in every way.”
"Being able to create a community that is thriving, that is safe, that has agriculture and commercial businesses that are supporting one another and that dollars circulating in our community, that is our vision,” Scott said.
The land is located just 130 miles south of Atlanta, where a police officer fatally shot 27-year-old Black man Rayshard Brooks in June after Brooks grabbed the officer’s stun gun and attempted to flee. Officer Garrett Rolfe was charged on 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault.
Rolfe was fired from the police department the next day, prompting him to later file a lawsuit against the mayor and city’s police department, arguing that his dismissal was carried out "without an investigation, without proper notice, without a pre-disciplinary hearing, and in direct violation of the municipal code of the City of Atlanta."