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February Celebrates Savannah’s Black Heritage

Guest Blog Post by Patrick Mastrianni, interning with Visit Savannah from Kennesaw State

As a person of faith, I have found it interesting the number and variety of places of worship within Savannah.  Beyond that though, the history behind many of these places of worship allows you to pause and think about where you are standing.  With today being the first day of Black History Month, Savannah is home to some of the oldest black congregations throughout the country.  For those that don’t know, Savannah is home to the oldest, continuous black congregation in America – the First African Baptist Church.  It was constructed in 1788 by slaves, for slaves.  It is said to be the first building constructed of brick in the state of Georgia that was owned by African Americans.  Over the years, the church has served many purposes.  The church was a haven for runaway slaves during the turbulent years of the Civil War and still to this day, many of the original pews and markings from those travelers can be found within.

To enjoy more of Savannah’s Black Heritage here are a few places and events to experience:

Beach Institute
502 East Harris Street
Georgia’s oldest school for Blacks

Owens-Thomas House
124 Abercorn Street
Features one of the earliest intact urban slave quarters

Savannah Black Heritage Festival
February 1–16 2012 with Post Festival Events February 18–15
All events are free and open to the public.
912.351.6320

Savannah Music Festival
March 27 – April 5, 2012
One of the most distinctive cross-genre music festivals in the world.  Past performers include Wynton Marsalis, Buddy Guy, Savion Glover and many others.

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