It’s February, which is Black History Month, in the United States. I believe that Black History Month should celebrate the past, the present, and future of the African diaspora. I recently learned of these two community developments headed up by black people in the United States.
- Africatown in Greater Seattle
Inspired by the original, historic AfricaTown in Alabama, the AfricaTown Community Land Trust is an ongoing development in the Center Business District in Seattle. The mission of the venture is to “support the cultural and economic thriving of people who are part of the African diaspora in the Greater Seattle region”. You can learn more here.
2. The Bridge | EcoVillage
The Bridge has a big vision to transform abandoned, underutilized spaces, like schools, warehouses, and malls, into new thriving and booming community developments for people of color. In addition, The Bridge also has a environmental lens as well, and wants its environment to be self-sustaining and self-contained. Residents will be able to grow their own food. The development will also have world-class amenities, such as housing, commercial/retail space, co-working, urban agriculture, innovation/education center, and entertainment.
This is a response to “fill in” the gaps that has existed in the city of Harrisburg, which has a population of 50,000, both as a result of redlining and systemic oppression. Harrisburg currently lacks affordable housing, an underperforming school district. Harrisburg is a food desert, where people who live to get easy access to fresh, healthy produce. Other deficiency they hope to combat include lack of green spaces and financial literacy. The Bridge has created a video talking about what has inspired them to launch this development.
The current development is located in Harrisburg, PA. The Bridge will be a symbol of economic empowerment and potentially hopes to replicate this model in the future, in other cities that have a need, such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, Houston, and Pittsburgh.