Majority-Black Town Fights To Stop Land Seizure For Gravel Quarry Rail Link

"Residents of Sparta, Georgia, are trying to stop the Sandersville railroad and its influential owners from building a spur to a quarry".

"A majority-Black rural community in Georgia is battling to stop a railroad company from seizing private land for a new train line they say will cause environmental and economic harms.

Residents of Sparta, a poor community of 1,300 people located a hundred miles south-east of Atlanta, are opposing the construction of a rail spur that would connect a local quarry to the main train line, enabling the gravel company to vastly expand mining that already causes dust, debris and noise pollution.

Residents, including direct descendants of James Blair Smith, the African American farmer who against all odds obtained and farmed the land almost a century ago, have so far resisted efforts by the railroad company to convince landowners to sell portions of their properties needed for the project."

Nina Lakhani reports for the Guardian April 3, 2023.

Source: Guardian, 04/04/2023