The Savannah Yamacraw ASALH branch celebrated the birthday of Dr. Carter G. Woodson on December 14, 2021, by presenting a workshop for students in the after-school program at the West Broad Street, one of the Heritage (historically Black) Y programs in the nation. The children participated in a discussion led by Dr. Otis Johnson, Savannah’s second Black mayor and also a former dean and professor at Savannah State University.
Dr. Johnson wanted the young people, who ranged from 4th grade to a college student, to understand that enslaved people were “rented” from plantations in nearby South Carolina to clear the trees and foliage from the bluff above the Savannah River to make a space that would eventually become the downtown and residential areas of Savannah.
Students were able to ask questions and they were challenged to be proud of the fact that African ancestors made it possible for the City of Savannah to become what it is today.
The branch members present also included Edna Branch Johnson, Savannah’s third Black mayor and currently a member of the Georgia House, representing the 165th District.
After the discussion, Branch members presented the students and Y staff members with bags of healthy snacks. Mrs. Carolyn Blackshear is the Savannah Yamacraw branch president.