Tybee City Council passed a Justice and Equality Resolution on July 9, 2020. The vote came after 11 pm after much discussion.
Nancy DeVetter, Tybee councilwoman, had the passion and the Nerve to introduce a Race Equity Resolution during the June 25, 2020 Regular City Council Meeting. Her fellow council members did not “like the language.” They felt phrases like “kidnapped”, “stolen enslaved Africans” and “systematic racism”; were too strong.
Nancy DeVetter, worked with TybeeMLK members Julia Pearce and Pat Leiby along with Equality Fest founder Angie Celeste Snow to gather stories from people who have experienced racial profiling while on the island. These stories were sent to TybeeMLK and shared with the City Council.
The following persons addressed Tybee’s Racial History during the July 9th meeting before the vote.
Honorable Edna Jackson, former Savannah Mayor and 1963 arrested Wade-In Participate. Edna Jackson praised the council for recognizing the current climate and attempting to address deep seated issues.
Dr. Amir Jamal Toure, Savannah Gullah Geechee Historian who was racially profiled on the Tybee beach while working on the story about racial issues on Tybee. Dr. Toure talked about Lazaretto being African American’s Ellis Island, as a first point of entry for thousands of enslaved Africans.
Libohang Mothapo, employed by Chatham County Public Schools, was born in South Africa. Libo spoke about the importance of truth telling in historical healing. She cited the South African model of Truth and Reconciliation. Carole and Patrice Jackson, Mother/Daughter Tybee residents. Patrice is bi-racial, and has never felt welcomed in her own community.
Retired Dean Phil Rosen spoke about the importance of Lazaretto/quarantine history in the American story. Our story is the story of America.
Jennifer Agnew Hutcherson, a Tybee resident married to a black man and they have a bi-racial son. Jennifer told the story of how her husband has been stopped and questioned by the police, too many times to count and police pulling over her Teenage son because he “looked out of place.”
After all the testimonies and other city business, Tybee City Council voted down Nancy DeVetter’s Race Equity Resolution 5-1. Councilman John Branigin introduced his version of her resolution, it passed 4 to 2. Jay Burke and Barry Brown voted against the resolution. Nancy DeVetter, John Branigin, Spec Hosti and Monty Parks voted in the affirmative. The Justice and Equality Resolution Passed.