Have y’all ever heard of a place called Acres Homes (Acreage Home)? We call it the “4-4”, but you have to say it right if you call it that. It’s “fo fo”. Not four four. Not forty four. “Fo. Fo.”

A lot of famous people you may know – from actors, rappers, & singers to politicians, entrepreneurs, & civil rights activists – are from Acres Homes. If they didn’t grow up in the area, their “people” did.

My grandmother & mama used to always say “Black folks in this city are either from Freedman’s Town (4th Ward), Studewood, Acres Homes, or The Nickel (5th Ward). If they tell you something else they’re either lying or ain’t from here.”

Their words, not mine. Lol!

Acres Homes is a historic neighborhood that was one of – if not THE – the biggest unincorporated African American community in the South.

Unincorporated y’all!! NO city organization or official political designation!

It’s called that because during WW1 people bought land by the acre & built their own houses, many of which are still standing today – some barely.

Our family land in Acres Homes

This is my great-grandparent’s land & home in Acres Homes.

And they weren’t architects or designers either.  Just hard-working Black folks with a unique set of skills that looked out for & helped each other AND lived fully self-sufficient lifestyles. For years it was a pocket of the city that was literally NOT the city. People grew their own food & raised chickens & farm animals!

My great grandparent’s home is still there. It’s seen better days but I remember having everything from birthday parties to family reunions & Juneteenth celebrations there. AND being scared to play on the side of the house where the cows & bulls were. Good times! So glad it’s still in the family.

Our family home in Acres Homes

It definitely shaped how I live today – it’s why I garden, why I cook & eat {mostly} clean food, why I care less about a house & more about home & land ownership, and it’s why I chose to build a business that leaves a legacy.

It’s more than just the “country life” – it’s a lifestyle & a mindset that just doesn’t fit with what we are experiencing in this country today. Or possibly ever.

I want that life again. For my children & grandchild. For our entire family & community. For the generations. A lifestyle that provides a safe haven for my people in a country that was not meant for us in the first place. But… that’s a conversation for another time.

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  1. Beautifully written. I love the intro of our Grandfather’s property and the short history of Acres Homes. Thank you for the trip back home