Radio station WRFG, in conjunction with prominent Georgia museums, libraries, and historical societies, announces the release of Unearthing the Weeping Time, a timely public programming series that exposes one of the darkest moments in Georgia’s antebellum history and the lasting imprint of the largest recorded slave auction in U.S History, while honoring and reviving the stories of the people sold.
The series includes two lectures, two radio programs, a historical walking tour of the slave auction site, a living history/reenactment and a genealogy workshop, and will run from August 28th through September 13th in Atlanta and Savannah. Beach Institute 502 E Harris St, Savannah, GA Event Host: King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation and Georgia Historical Society. All programs are free and open to the public.
The 1859 Savannah Slave Auction: A Genealogy of People and Place, A lecture by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft-Hanson will be held Thursday, August 28th 6pm Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 W York St, Savannah, Ga. History Weeping Time Walking Tour will be held Friday, August 29th at 5:30 – 7pm at Brock Elementary School grounds 1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, GA. A Genealogy Workshop will be held Saturday, August 30th, 10am-12pm at Beach Institute, Savannah, GA which will be hosted by King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation and Georgia Historical Society.
The project is generously funded by the Georgia Humanities Council and is part of numerous events nationwide in recognition of the national sesquicentennial commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation. Unearthing the Weeping Time is also linked to the Telfair Museums’ award-winning Slavery and Freedom in Savannah programming. Project Director and WRFG Executive Board Member, Dr. Kali-Ahset Amen states, “This project revitalizes WRFG’s commitment to community engagement in the arts, humanities, and public history – a tradition that started over 30 years ago with WRFG’s ‘Living Atlanta’ broadcast series and book collaboration with Georgia State University Professor, Clifford Kuhn.”
Based on new genealogical and topographical research discoveries, scholars will reveal novel information on the slave-descendants’ dispersed families. Dr. Kwesi J. DeGraft-Hanson, lead expert on the project, states, “This country — particularly the American south– is full of hidden histories like the “Weeping Time” slave sale, and if we as citizens don’t labor to commemorate these horrible episodes of our past, we’re doing not just ourselves a disservice, but we’re desecrating the memory of the enslaved people who helped build this country.”
Savannah-based historical Re-enactor and Master Storyteller Patt Gunn and Re-enactor Rozz Rouse, who will enliven the walking tour with a dramatic re-enactment of “The Weepin’ Time”, adds, “I don’t come to talk about slavery . . . We come to take you on a journey from slavery to freedom.” The cast of “The Saltwata Players“,will re-enact the March 2 and 3, 1859 slave auction sale at “The Racetrack”, the original grounds where 429 slaves were sold at auction. “Indeed, Unearthing the Weeping Time intends to achieve just that, illuminating audiences on stories of enslavement and liberty hidden in plain view within the hallowed grounds of Savannah’s contemporary landscape.
For a full listing of events and co-sponsors, please visit www.mawamuseum.org/weepingtime.html