Film documents integrated community in the 1950s -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Film documents integrated community in the 1950s

May 27, 2003

(Americus-AP) -- An hourlong documentary will tell the story of Koinonia Farm, a place of religious retreat and communal living in Sumter County that became a point of controversy during the civil rights movement.

Koinonia Farm ushered in a new era when it accepted its first black members in the mid-1950s. It let blacks and whites eat together, use the same restrooms and get paid the same wages. But that led to conflict in the rural farming community of southwest Georgia.

In the 1950s and early 1960s, its members withstood firebombs, gunfire, Ku Klux Klan rallies and death threats. A Sumter County grand jury issued presentments accusing Koinonia of possible being a front for the Communist Party, which its founder denied.

Faith Fuller, producer of the documentary, says she hopes she can share the story with other people like her who had no idea what went on. She says it's a powerful story of a small group of people trying to live peacefully, living in a way that wasn't acceptable during their era.

 The 36-year-old Fuller is an award-winning producer and daughter of Millard and Linda Fuller of Americus, who founded Habitat for Humanity International.

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