C3 summit yields land bank plans, more

Tony Jones, Special to The New Tri-State Defender | 8/10/2017, 11:32 a.m.
Coalition of Concerned Citizens (C3) member Lorrie Pafford Garcia capped off a dual event for the group on Saturday (August ...
Dr. Clifford Black (standing) and Al Lewis generated numerous questions and feedback during their interactive symposium on Race and its Role in Shaping Media Coverage and Public Perception. (Photo by Aisha Raison)

Carlos Ochoa, a C3 supporter, detailed a recent encounter as evidence of how the nation is consumed by racial identity concerns.

“I was stopped by a man going into a store and he asked me what I am. Eventually, I told him I was a human being.”

Garcia closed out the summit with an overview of her work with the coalition.

“The Books and Breakfast was first started in St. Louis after the shooting of Mike Brown,” she said, “so we decided to bring that program to Memphis. It was built upon the original model created by the Black Panthers in the sixties. One of the group’s goal is to reeducate people about what Black Power is and what it can look like in the future.”

That is where the land bank process comes in.

“C3 is in neighborhoods all over the city and one of the things we found out is that the city has so many vacant lots, and people want to be able to grow their own food,” she said.

“But the cost to do that is not feasible for them to do it on their own. We found that the price for vacant lots in South Memphis on average was $300. This year, the average price is $2,500 to $3,000.”

Rent prices in 38126 are going up in anticipation of redevelopment, she said.

“One of our goals is to provide affordable housing by holding the land in trust and the people are able to afford to buy houses they can afford. They can have a lease for 99 years, and this can be a path for building generational wealth.”