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Take Back the Land: Land, Gentrification & the Umoja Village Shantytown
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Take Back the Land: Land, Gentrification & the Umoja Village Shantytown

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  41 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In October 2006, a group of housing activists called Take Back the Land seized control of a plot of public land in Miami, Florida and built an encampment that would become known as the Umoja Village Shantytown, a living reminder of the lack of low-cost housing in the city, and a public protest against gentrification. Though the Umoja Village encampment lasted only a few sh ...more
Paperback, 150 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by AK Press (first published March 13th 2008)
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May 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first heard about a group called Take Back the Land, which was illegally moving homeless families into empty homes in Miami, in a study group about the Civil Rights movement and the grassroots organizing that made it so powerful. The reference was highly appropriate. In many ways, Take Back the Land is a direct heir of that bottom-up, Black self-empowerment, civil disobedient, movement-building tradition, and is one of the most inspiring examples of a group renewing and developing that traditi ...more
Sergei Moska
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book has a surprising range of content for such a short text. It is an account of the birth, development, and destruction of a shantytown that was erected in Miami in 2006. The author is the lead organizer of the activist group that helped organize and set up the project. This book includes the authors' thoughts on...

-the tension between keeping an exclusionary group and working with allies
-the levels of ideological homogeneity required for the accomplishment of various tasks
-how to set up
Sep 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Having grown up in Miami when it was an activist wasteland, I was so happy to read this book. It doesn't just retell the takeover of public land, but also puts it all in social/political context. And while the people and history are specific to Miami, you could write almost the same story in most cities - including DC where I live. So reading about an action that had some positive affects is useful. Though clearly we have a long way to go if we have any chance to stand up to (by which I mean sma ...more
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book, very insightful movement history.
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unfortunately, this is an incomplete book about an important movement. It should be expanded and cleaned up, though it is a start. Strangely, I would still recommend it for those who are interested in the housing justice movement, but as a singular book it does not stand out. The author, Max Rameau, is actually an excellent author and presenter, so I wonder what happened with this specific book.

I give this a high two stars.
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Full of wisdom. This is an instruction manual for activists, a political manifesto for revolutionaries, a dramatic account of a piece of American history, the personal memoir of a public crisis. Essential reading for those involved in building social movements. Essential, too, for those who wonder why people get involved in social movements.
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great overview of the first action Take Back the Land did in Florida. Outlines the general theory behind not only the creation of the coalition, but also the thought process leading to the creation of Umoja.
Sep 04, 2009 marked it as part-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: familiars
Reginald Simms
Jun 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
Flashback style telling of the Umoja(Unity) Village and the fight against gentrification and for self-determination.
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Take Back the Land 1 7 Mar 18, 2009 10:34AM  
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Max Rameau is a Haitian born Pan-African theorist, campaign strategist, organizer and author.

Max currently works with organizations to develop their campaigns and facilitates a leadership development process for staff and leaders.
More about Max Rameau