Living the Legacy: Celebrating the Life of Westley W. Law

Shelia Ray Charles
Shelia Ray Charles

The Savannah Black Heritage Festival celebrates the journey of Africans and African Americans and the ever-unfolding story of their enduring path to freedom and justice. Utilizing the theme, “Living the Legacy: Celebrating the Life of Westley W. Law,” selected programs have been incorporated in the schedule to honor the legacy of the late W. W. Law, Civil Rights activist, historian and preservationist. In addition to the Annual W. W. Law Lecture, programs have been selected to highlight Law’s legacy here in Savannah. To commemorate the first Black Heritage Festival organized by Law and held in 1988 at the King-Tisdell Cottage Museum, one of many institutions founded by him, a mini-festival, “Let’s Go Back to the Festival” will be held Saturday, Feb 16, at the King-Tisdell Cottage from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Blues Singer Drink Small, who sang at the first festival, will be featured along with Shelia Ray Charles, daughter of Ray Charles. Events are also scheduled at the Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, the exhibition, “Common Connections” by Bernice and Andy Tate, and at the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, also established by Law. The Earl Shinholster Youth Leadership Institute will facilitate a community leadership forum for youth on Saturday, February 2, from 10-11:30 a.m.

Interested youth groups should call 912-232-2626 for information and reservations

The festival’s action packed schedule, listed in the center of this publication, outlines activities indicative of this year’s theme. You won’t want to miss any part of this ambitious event which is presented by the city of Savannah and Savannah State University and supported by multiple sponsors, partners and friends listed below.

Each year, the Black Heritage Festival offers events and activities for those of every age and interest in the performing and visual arts as well as other educational focused events that showcase national, regional and local talent. The Grand Festival Day falls on Saturday, Feb 9. An Array of family-oriented activities, beginning with a health fair and concluding with a star-studded concert, will keep the Savannah Civic Center busy all day and into the night. Festival events are free and open to the public, unless an event is for a specified school audience. For updated information on the 2013 festival, go to , or call 912-358-4309.

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