Savannah City Council discusses upcoming Black Heritage Festival


Lucy Stone, Staff Writer

The Black Heritage Committee made an appearance at the Jan. 21 City Council Meeting. This year marks the 27th anniversary of the festival in Savannah.

Members of the committee that made an appearance including Dr. Cheryl Dozier, president of Savannah State University and Shirley James, former SSU administrator and current chair of the Black Heritage Committee.

The theme of the Black Heritage Festival is “Reflections of a Proud Legacy” which is fitting, Dozier said, because this also marks the 125th anniversary of Savannah State University, which is “a great, proud legacy for us.”

The festival begins Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 21. A kick-off event will take place Sunday, Jan. 31, from 3 p.m. -5 p.m. at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum where there will be a photography exhibition presented by Andrew Feiler.

“Each year the festival presents activities for every age and interest, through cultural education and exposure to the performing and visual arts, as well as a health and wellness fair, culinary arts and numerous youth programs. Fun and family are emphasized throughout the celebration,” James said.

One notable event is a lecture by former Mayor Otis Johnson titled “The Weeping Time.”The talk will be about the Savannah slave sale, the largest in history, that happened in 1859. His lecture will be held at the Jepson Center Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m.  A gathering and commemoration walk for “The Weeping Time” will begin Feb. 20 at 11 a.m. (at Augusta Avenue and Dunn Street). All are welcome and events are free to the public.