On October 23, 2006, in response to one of the most severe epidemics of gentrification and low income housing in the United States, a small group of activists, members of Take Back The Land, seized control over public land, created the self-governed shantytown of Umoja Village, and started a movement.
Take Back the Land: Land Gentrification and the Umoja Village, the new book by Umoja Village organizer Max Rameau, is part political theory and part narrative, documenting the planning, development, struggles and triumphs endured by Take Back The Land activists and Umoja Village residents, and tackles the larger fundamental issues of land and power distribution in black communities.
In the wake of public housing vacancies, corrupt government officials and flawed federal programs, a community found the courage to fight back, offering a model for fighting against gentrification and for land. Detailing the thoughts, arrests, conflicts and the devastating fire which would reduce the village to ashes, the book describes how one community built Umoja. This book is a great tool for activist, organizers and historians.