Friday, February 19, 2010

Free Spirited Koinonia
Tags: carlos

Posted on February 19, 2010 by carlos

Americus, GA Feb. 18th:

Today, we began our day walking from the outskirts of Leesburg, GA towards a small city known as Americus, GA. As we approached the outskirts of the city, we were greeted by Nashua, a young spirited local community organizer, who was waiting for us in his car alongside the road. As he drove us to Koinonia farm, our social lunch destination, Nashua shared stories with us concerning local Latino community struggles and how attentive the community has been with our walk. He mentioned how word had gotten around quick that we were entering town and that people were following each step of our walk, even though they weren’t physically present. “Many other people are walking in the struggle” he said, referring to the thousands of people who vigorously work in the immigrant rights movement.

Nashua also explained to us the historical context behind Koinonia farm, which was an important interracial community center founded in 1942 by Rev. Clarence Jordan. In those days, Koinonia farm was ahead of its time in that it was an intentionally desegregated Christian community. By that I mean, white and black people would work together receiving equal pay, eat together, and build their own houses together in this small community. In those times, Koinonia farm was a controversial and unpopular location for several local white residents, who boycotted all the goods produced by the farm because of its social integration. Rev. Jordan, its proud founder, thus began shipping out goods from the town, and came up with a double meaning slogan, “Help us send the nuts out of Georgia”. The people that resided in Koinonia farm experienced all types of racially motivated aggravations, such as gun shot firings into the farm and even bombs attacks by the Ku Klux Klan. Yet, Koinonia farm stands today, and people from all walks of life still communally eat together almost on a daily basis. The economically affordable houses built by the people of Koinonia, inspired one of its residents, Miller Fuller alongside his wife, to establish the organization Habitat for Humanity. Jubilee community, another interracial community, came after the Koinonia farm establishment as well.

Koinonia is currently visited by people all across the world, fascinated and completely captivated by its simplicity based on peace, love and joy. I was completely intrigued by this community, especially having seen a young white girl, wearing a long purple dress, walk nearby us. With her radiant smile, she walked barefoot as she beautifully sang a social justice freedom song. We all felt accepted with open doors from the first minute we walked into the social lunch location, where people were eating together as they usually do. The locals were in solidarity with our journey as we engaged in conversations with them. Koinonia farm was a good reminder to us, how we all may be different on the outside; but as people we hold the same feelings on the inside and have the capability to love one another as close brothers and sisters.
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