HSF partners with local museums for Nov. ‘Pioneers in Preservation’ series

The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Its Legacy

Community partners are joining together to host “Pioneers in Preservation Series: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Its Legacy.” 

The Davenport House Museum, Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, and the Andrew Low House Museum, along with Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) will host the series starting Thursday, Nov. 11, and run through Sunday, Nov. 14. The series will be led by Honorary Chair Carol Bell, former Mayor Pro Tem.

“This collaborative effort between our three respective museums represents a meaningful and lasting partnership. We are able to pool our resources and provide visitors with an engaging experience of this important topic,” said Rebecca Eddins, Andrew Low House Museum Executive Director.

This a free series that is being funded by The ACE Grant community program and Georgia Humanities. Through a series of multi-day events attendees will get familiarized with the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry communities and their history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its legacy. Each day, a new program will be hosted at a partnering museum site and they hope to provide a unique and engaging experience for attendees.

“We have a wonderful and engaging lineup for our guests this year. We want our visitors to thoroughly enjoy learning the history behind the City of Savannah. Some of the history is tragic and heartbreaking, some is remarkable and uplifting but it all went into making our city what it is today, so we hope to tell the full story in a truthful and reverent way,” said HSF Education and Research Associate Kimberly Newbold.

The series kicks off on Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. There will be a “edu-taining,” “histo-musical” performance highlighting Gullah-Geechee roots by Gullah-Geechee Nation Luminary Queen Quet. 

The second event of the series is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at the historic Second African Church. Dr. Sowande Mustakeem, associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, will provide the key-note lecture on her groundbreaking work, “Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage.”

“It’s our community story to tell and when you have a community as rich in history as Savannah and the Lowcountry, you go to the people that you know tell that story best. People like Queen Quet, Vaughnette Goode-Walker, Amir Jamal Touré, Dr. Sowande Mustakeem and more. It will be an honor to be in their company and share in the discovery of their work,” said Davenport House Museum Director Jamie Credle.

On Saturday, Nov. 13 the series continue with a lecture and tasting event, “Tasting Traditions!” at the Andrew Low House Museum. This event will have tastings at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Local historian Vaughnette Goode-Walker will talk about African American food traditions and relate these traditions to Mosianna Milledge, an enslaved and later free servant to the Low family.

Local chef, Sallie Ann Robinson, will give an informal talk and perform a cooking demonstration, preparing dishes influenced by African American traditions and present-day inspirations.

The series wraps up in the afternoon on Sunday, Nov. 14, in the Assembly Room in the North Garden at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum. 

“Ships of the Sea is honored to collaborate with our Partners in Preservation in recognizing the significant African contributions to this region’s culture. It is a recognition that is long overdue,” said Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Interim Executive Director/Curator Wendy Melton.

The museum will host a workshop from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. covering the construction of a mbira, a west African thumb piano, with a detachable cigar box resonator. This workshop is limited to 20 participants and is restricted to ages eight and older.

“We just need to come together, and with the pandemic—hopefully, sort of—lifting a bit. I just think it’s a human and important to get out and to be with other people. As far as the topics go, we didn’t get a lot of this history in formal education, or at least I didn’t. But that’s one of the things about the study of history is that we can all be lifelong learners and can learn something rich. It is extremely painful, but rich—and that fills in our timeline, our understanding of the past,” Davenport House Museum director Jamie Credle said.

For more information on the “Pioneers in Preservation Series” or other HSF events, visit myhsf.org, call 912-233-7787, and follow HSF on their social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.