Uncover Savannah’s hidden Black historical past by the eyes of civil rights chief W.W. Regulation

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The life and legacy of renowned Savannah civil rights leader WW Law is on display at the Massie Heritage Center in downtown.

The exhibit revolves around Law’s quest to create his acclaimed Savannah Negro Heritage Trail, which is comprised of 32 historical sites.

What made his trek unique was the story of Savannah, told from a black perspective, while at the same time highlighting blacks’ normally overlooked contributions to the community.

Massie curator Steven Smith says Law’s motivation for beginning the trail in the 1970s was to recognize, for the first time, the African American and enslaved people who contributed to Savannah’s history.

“The WW Act recognized that knowing one’s history and heritage was a form of empowerment. So it wanted to put this path together and teach sightseeing from a black perspective,” he said.

A map of the Negro Heritage Trail by WW Law, which gained national attention in the 1970s and 1980s.

The exhibition in the center contains a number of works on the subject of law from the city archive.

The exhibit includes a timeline of the trail’s evolution as well as numerous handwritten notes from Law that compose his tour.

Visitors can also see his desk, where he wrote notes about the 30+ stops on his tour.

Heritage specialist Ayela Khuhro says she is intrigued by Law’s work because many of it highlight the hidden historical gems around us.

“He highlighted a lot of hidden stories, a lot of unique stories that would otherwise have been dwarfed,” she said.

Below them is a brick along a sidewalk on Abercorn Street between Lafayette and Calhoun Squares.

Many of the bricks that make up historic downtown homes, sidewalks, and squares were made by slaves on a plantation on the Savannah River that is currently home to the International Paper Company.

Four fingerprints can be seen in one of the stones, which curators believe came from a slave.

Smith says those who take the trail are always amazed at the simplest details and how they changed history, like the cotton gin.

“There are a lot of really unique and interesting details that we offer on this tour that people find fascinating,” he said.

Khuhro told the story of Mosianna Milledge, who cooked for Juliette Gordon Low and her husband.

Milledge was a formerly enslaved African American who continued to work for the Low family after her release.

She traveled to England with Juliette Low, where she became famous for introducing Mediterranean cuisine to the British aristocracy in the 1890s.

“In the words of Rosa Lewis, a famous British cook,” Before Mosianna came to England, the English had no idea that a chicken could be fried, “said Khuhro.

The influence of people like Milledge and many others in Savannah history is what the Massie staff say that makes Laws Tour memorable and special.

The walks will take place at the Massie Heritage Center from Monday to Friday at 2pm until March 8th.

The cost of the tour is $ 10 per person.

For more information, visit massieschool.com, email [email protected], or call 912-395-5070.

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