Posted on January 7, 2022

Activists Say Solar Farm in Florida Will Harm Black Community

Aisha Powell, The Grio, January 2, 2022

Black residents in Archer — a majority Black town in Florida with a rich history — thought they prevented a solar power farm from being built in their historical community back in 2020.

Michelle Rutledge, a resident who lives across from the proposed site, said that she rallied the community together to object the construction, persuading their county commissioner to vote down the project.

However, in the summer of 2021, the state legislature voted to pass a law preventing municipal governments from blocking new energy infrastructure. Now, the power farm could be erected in Archer in the foreseeable future.


“Our families have ties to those types of experiences since the Civil War, Jim Crow, and having to escape,” said Gerrie Crawford, another resident who lives across from the proposed site.


“We asked the county government to consider cumulative factors such as compatibility, community impact, cultural significance, systemic racism in land use, zoning, and urban planning, and environmental racism while making a decision,” she said.


“We support renewable energy. But we feel it has to be a just transition to break the cycle of past injustices in the name of progress,” added Crawford.