While Americans fought in WWII and made black citizens use separate, segregated facilities back home, Georgia minister Clarence Jordan paid his black and white workers equal wages on his experimental farm. Jordan founded Koinonia Farm in 1942 as, in his words, a “demonstration plot for the kingdom of God.” He believed all people were created equal, and he wanted to show that while improving the lives of disadvantaged farmers. Naturally, many white people in Sumter County, Georgia pushed back. They refused to buy the farm’s produce, destroyed its equipment, and threatened workers’ lives.

For Topic, Santi Elijah Holley visits the old Sumter County farm, and he recounts its fascinating, progressive history through its decades of struggle and triumph. Amid his reporting, he asks a tough question: can an interracial community driven by religious conviction survive in our racially charged modern climate?

Jordan’s legacy, though less celebrated, has not…

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