Local cultural centers in the Savannah area invite all locals to participate in the upcoming free weekend events celebrating local African-American history starting Saturday, August 18. They are in partnership with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture or NMAAHC.
Organizations involved in the celebration include Beach Institute, Fort Pulaski National Monument, the Georgia Historical Society, Georgia State Railroad Museum, Massie Heritage Center, the Ossabaw Island Foundation, Pin Point Heritage Museum, and Telfair Museums’ Owens-Thomas House.
It will be Savannah’s second year participating in the NMAAHC’s global celebration of African-American history, named Lift Every Voice in honor of James Weldon Johnson’s inspiring song of the same name. Though many communities and cultural centers nationwide participated in the inaugural year’s events of 2017, Savannah is one of the few areas bring the celebration back.
Elizabeth DuBose, Executive Director of the Ossabaw Island Foundation, says, “Our involvement in Lift Every Voice last year was an important addition to our programming. Ossabaw Island’s African American history did not occur in isolation…Lift Every Voice helps us emphasize those connections and offers locals and visitors a late summer opportunity to get to know our community better.”
The schedule of weekend events is as follows:
Saturday, August 18th
Beach Institute presents Capturing the Soul, a photography of local Civil Rights leader and historian W.W. Law. City of Savannah archivists will also be present artifacts and other records made available through the City’s Municipal Archives. It is located on 502 E. Harris Street and more information can be found on the Beach Institute's website, www.beachinstitute.org.
Ossabaw Island presents a morning walking tour of the North End Plantation and three restored tabby cabins built as living quarters for enslaved Africans. The tour will include the history of several Africans held in captivity at the plantation, including Hercules and Betty in the 1770s, the Bond Brothers in the 1850s, and Bond Brothers’ descendants who founded Pin Point community in the 1880s. Departure location address: Rodney Hall Boat Ramp, 25 Diamond Causeway. Boat transport fee is $30, free admission upon arrival at the island. More information can be found at www.osssabawisland.net.
Pin Point Heritage Museum is offering Gullah/Geechee cultural tours conducted by local residents. Attendees will learn about the lifestyle and experiences of those who established the community in 1896 by freedmen post-Civil War. The event is located on 9924 Pin Point Avenue. Additional information can be found at www.chsgeorgia.org.
Sunday, August 19th
Fort Pulaski National Monument is offering special programs throughout the day on enslaved African’s bold escapes over Union state lines once the fort was taken during the Civil War in 1862. Attendees will learn about post-emancipation life on the Sea Islands. Additional information can be found at www.nps.gov/fopu.
Massie Heritage Center will be hosting a variety of guest speakers to discuss Massie and Savannahian African-American history. Additional information can be found at internet.savannah.chatham.k12.ga.us/schools/massie.
Telfair Museum’s Owens-Thomas House will present a program highlighting the lives of some of the enslaved Africans who lived at the house, Emma, Peter, and Diane. More information can be found on the Telfair Museum's website, www.telfair.org.