Proctor Creek Stewardship Council helps to halt Norfolk Southern Development
An effort five years in the making, the Proctor Creek Stewardship Council helps to successfully stop the development of an ethanol facility at the former Chattahoochee Brick Co. site, where predominately-black prison laborers were exploited, sometimes to their death.
The Procter Creek Stewardship Council is a community-led entity organizing to protect Atlanta’s westside Proctor Creek. With leadership from Donna Stephens and support from WAWA and many others, the saw that the atrocious history of the sight would soon be covered by yet another industrious endeavor by the recent new owners of the property Norfolk southern.
The history of the Chattahoochee Brick Co. site was brought to light in recent years thanks to Douglas Blackmon’s book “Slavery By Another Name”, which looked at forced labor by mostly African-American men–which was prominent in America, especially in the south, into the 20th century and not abolished in Georgia until 1909.
A team of concerned community members, environmental leaders, clergy-people, and council members banded together to convince Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms administration to step in.
After some hesitation, the Bottoms’s office filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board to stop development, and after a few days, Norfolk Southern terminated its plans to develop on the site.
In an interview with the Saporta Report, Donna said she was “extremely happy”.
“There have been days where a number of us have been like, ‘Should we just throw in the towel?’ Because it felt like we weren’t getting anywhere,” Donna said via the Saporta Report.
Stay up to date on the status of the site.
The Proctor Creek Stewardship Council (Instagram)
Save the Brick (Website)