This Village Is A Safe Space For Black People

Via Pixabay
Leslie Taylor-Grover
January 13, 2021

Our people have faced white terrorism nearly every time we’ve tried to create our own spaces. One community, however, has managed to create a respite from racism for half a century!


During the Civil Rights movement, many of our people sought to revive and honor West African practices in safe spaces. 

Oyotunji Village was founded in South Carolina 1970 – on land that was once part of a plantation – to provide a space like this, but like other Black spaces it has faced its troubles.

White media slandered the village from its founding, fires destroyed some buildings, and unemployment has forced some younger members to leave in search of jobs. Nevertheless, the community maintained its cultural practices – and pride. 

Oyotunji has also adapted with the times.

The space is open to visitors who are seeking to learn and to escape racism. Visitors can even purchase land and choose to stay, as long as they respect the community’s practices! So what can current efforts to create independent Black spaces learn from Oyotunji?

Oyotunji continues to seek out new ways to reap the benefits of the land, such as farming and film. Our liberation calls for us to control and use land for our benefit. Oyotunji is a prime example of a successful ownership model; we must continue to seek out and create more sustainable Black spaces!

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