In honor of the 2016-2017 Georgia History Festival, “A State of Innovation,” the December #MarkerMonday posts will focus on Charles Holmes Herty, naval stores, and agricultural innovation in Georgia.
This week’s #MarkerMonday showcases one of the most successful African American resettlement communities-Flint River Farms. The Flint River Farms Resettlement Project was established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Resettlement Administration in 1937 as part of President Franklin D Roosevelt’s New Deal. This plan allowed African American farmers to purchase and learn successful farming techniques throughout the South. Flint River Farms was home to 106 families, many of whom previously worked as sharecroppers. Residents of the community used agriculture to “get ahead” and advance from day laborers to land owners. This was accomplished through a lease-purchase agreement which participants were required to sign. After a five year trial period, resettlement families were offered forty-year mortgages to purchase the land. Within 10 years, all of the farm units were sold.
Flint River Farms was devoted to educating young African Americans on proper farming methods, as well as household responsibilities, such as cooking and sewing. Healthcare was also provided to resettlement families. Of the approximately 11,000 acres comprising the site, 1,800 were designated as a training farm. This area of land provided young married couples with a hands-on education in agriculture. Forty families lived and worked together on this large-scale farm. Common crops produced on Flint River Farms included cotton, pecans, peanuts, peaches, and vegetables. Resettlement projects not only provided African Americans with land ownership and educational opportunities, but they also demonstrated successful community building.
Top Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USF33- 030375-M1.
Explore the links below to learn more about the Flint River Farms Resettlement Project.