Thursday, July 1, 2010

To My House

An article in the Times this morning reports on the efforts of the Harris Neck Land Trust – a coalition of Gullah/Geechee descendants in Georgia – attempting to reclaim land taken by the US government in 1942 for the purposes of building a military base, which is now a wildlife preserve.
In 1942, Harris Neck, a thriving community of black landowners who hunted, farmed and gathered oysters, was taken by the federal government to build an airstrip. Now, the elders — who remember barefoot childhoods spent climbing trees and waking to watch the Canada geese depart in formation — want to know why they cannot have it back.
On its face, the quest of the former residents pits the goal of environmental conservation against that of righting a historical injustice. But it is also a conflict about two ways of life — one that tries to protect natural resources from human encroachment, the other demonstrating that humans can live in harmony with nature.
Trust members do not imagine that they can recreate their old way of life, but their plan for the land is meant to be similarly low impact. It includes solar energy, cutting-edge sewer treatment and organic farming. Most of the acreage would remain wild and open to the public.
Environmental groups, for the most part, have yet to voice opposition.

Check out the rest of the story at and on the Times' Green blog. Info can be found at the Harris Neck Land Trust's website.

Geeshie Wiley & Elvie Thomas "Come On Over To My House"

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