Savannah residents, on February 25, 2012, received a piece of history told in an artist way that many have never seen in person. It was a reenactment of an almost forgotten tragedy that occurred in 1859 when 436 Black men, women, and children were sold like cattle right here in Savannah— near Augusta, Ave. This was also the largest sale of human beings in U.S. history. Now more than a 152 years later, free Black men, women, and children of Savannah came together to pool their talents, skills, gifts, time, and resources to tell the stories of the slaves that built Savannah and greatly contributed to America’s growth.
To help dramatize the agony felt by the slaves, in front of First Bryan Baptist Church, nine reenactment scenes were created and acted out by local residents to include talented youths. A very memorable scene was called “Our Family,” which showed a husband having to tell his wife and four children the heart-wrenching news that they were all going to be sold off that very day. Another scene depicted a slave mistress that was all ‘used up” and was to be sold like the others. The event was hosted by Rev. Aaron James the Senior Pastor at the historical First Bryan Baptist Church, and was organized and produced by Patt Gunn founder of the Geechee Institute and Alicia Blakely founder of My Sister Keeper Production along with Doretha Rice.
The cast included: Van Lewis, Elder Cooper, Sharon Aikens, Ry’n and Reagan, Keyon Davis, Jazmine Pinkston Eric Starr, Cherly LaBon, Jamell Brown, Jennifer Blackwell, Deacon LaPairian Little John, Janice D. Smith, Ernest Greene, Harold Williams, William Miller, Kattelen Bratten, Tequila Owens, Demitris Goldwire, Alejandro Johnson, Jamal Stokes, Dianne Williams, Antrell Wright, and Bryan David Smith.