We, as a family, would like to return Handy Heights to its former glory and continue to use the land as a space for healing, safety, and resources for Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the community and beyond. We have a small pecan orchard and hope to begin farming our pecans. We also would like to create an archival space on the land to protect and preserve our legacy.
Unfortunately, time has not been easy on the land and structures. The two generations before me distanced themselves from the land, and for the past 15 years it’s been neglected and vacant. The houses are deteriorating more and more each day.
The homes of Handy Heights are historic. Our ancestors designed and built them from the ground up. They are a beacon of Black architecture, craftsmanship, and design.
For the past year, with the help of my cousin George, I have been on a mission to clean up the land and restore my great-grandparents’ home, Handy home 1. (To see the work we’ve done so far, check out @TheCreoleo on TikTok and @Creoleo & @HandyHeights on Instagram).
We have made tremendous progress and are finally on our way to having a livable home. My plan is to live in my great-grandparents’ house, care for the land, and begin creating infrastructure for our ultimate vision. We have a five-year plan to restore all four houses fully, but if we do not act soon, Handy homes 2, 3, and 4 will reach the point of no return. We are asking for funds to begin saving (aka “mothballing”) Handy homes 2, 3, and 4 so they don’t incur any more damages from the elements and fall to the ground. We cannot lose these houses!
Please help us preserve this vital piece of Black American history so we can share this land and story with the world, honoring the legacy our ancestors built.
“Go back and get it!”