New exhibit to honor Savannah civil-rights legend W.W. Law

Massie Heritage Center hosts walking tours highlighting historic sites

click to enlarge The Massie Heritage Center exhibit honoring W.W. Law highlights the Negro Heritage Trail, an educational walking tour in Savannah. - COURTESY OF THE MASSIE HERITAGE CENTER
Courtesy of the Massie Heritage Center
The Massie Heritage Center exhibit honoring W.W. Law highlights the Negro Heritage Trail, an educational walking tour in Savannah.
As a celebration of Black History Month, beginning in early February the Massie Heritage Center will debut a new exhibition to highlight the legacy of Savannah civil-rights leader W.W. Law, in partnership with the city’s Municipal Archives department.

Savannah-born Westley Wallace Law (1923-2002), commonly known as W.W. Law, is considered an icon of the civil-rights movement as a historian, teacher, preservationist, and an inspiring presence in the community during an era of inequality and social injustice.

Among Law’s many accomplishments, the Massie Heritage Center exhibit will highlight the Negro Heritage Trail, an educational walking tour in Savannah that Law curated. Law also led the movement to preserve one of Savannah’s historical treasures, the King-Tisdell Cottage, which at one point was slated for demolition.

The collaboration between the Massie Heritage Center and Savannah’s Municipal Archives will include a visual exhibit shedding light on Law’s legacy, with documents and images capturing the inception and early years of the Negro Heritage Trail. The display will be on view during Feb. 8-March 8 in the Massie Heritage Center’s Heritage Classroom.

To complement this exhibit, recreations of the Negro Heritage Trail tours − “Revisiting W.W. Law’s Negro Heritage Trail” − will be offered every Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. throughout the month of the exhibition. Tours will focus on the National Historic Landmark District, and they will highlight Law’s legacy in the city of Savannah.

“We are here as educators, and Mr. Law was a pioneer of heritage education in Savannah. He fervently believed that in order to empower yourself you have to know about your past, and he believed that you cannot possibly tell the history of Savannah without the Black perspective, so that’s why he put this trail together,” said Massie Heritage Center Curator Steven Smith.

Admission is $10 per person for both the exhibit and tour, with pandemic-safety precautions enforced and face masks required throughout the exhibition. Visit for more details.

About The Author

Brandy Simpkins

Brandy Simpkins is the community/ event journalist for Connect Savannah. Simpkins is a born and raised Savannahian and an alumna of Savannah Savannah State University where she received her B.A. in English Language & Literature. Simpkins enjoys writing more than anything else in the world. She is a curious journalist,...
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