African - American History & Culture in the Georgia Lowcounty
NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop at GHS
The Georgia Historical Society's workshop African - American History & Culture in the Georgia Lowcountry: Savannah & The Coastal Islands, 1750 - 1950 has been selected numerous times for the National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for Community College Faculty program. The workshop focuses on analyzing, discussing, and rethinking over two centuries of African-American life and culture in Savannah and Georgia's coastal islands.
Since the workshop's beginning GHS has welcomed over 200 Community College faculty members from all across the United States. Each day participants engage in scholarly lecture sessions given by nationally recognized experts in the field, attend guided walking tours of the streets, squares, and structures of Savannah’s Historic Landmark District, and visit sites such as Ossabaw and Sapelo Islands.
This online exhibit outlines the activities, topics, and themes of each day of the workshop. It provides audio recordings of the scholarly lectures and highlights related materials from the collection of the Georgia Historical Society.
Workshop Content, Scope, and Approach
GHS’s Landmarks workshops are designed to offer a place-based immersion experience that encompasses scholarly and sensory exploration of African-American history, life, and culture in both urban and rural environments. Through a combination of course readings, scholarly lectures, landmark site visits, community presentations, guided tours, and research at GHS’s Library and Archives, the summer scholars engaged in a scholarly dialogue focused on examining the centrality of place in the African-American experience in Georgia’s Lowcountry and the larger Atlantic world.
Visits to the streets, squares, and structures of Savannah’s Historic Landmark District including the Beach Institute Neighborhood and sites associated with the slave trade and the rise of Jim Crow segregation illustrated the social, economic, cultural, and religious life of African-Americans in an urban setting. Additional landmark site visits to Ossabaw Island and Sapelo Island, including Sapelo’s Hog Hammock community, focused on the lives and distinct cultures that developed in the plantation island communities of Georgia’s Lowcountry. Together these experiences illuminated the impact of geography, environment, and economy on the sustainability of African-American family life; gender roles; the interaction of place and culture; the creation of early African-American churches; the role of informal slave economies; Reconstruction on the barrier islands; and the enduring influence of the Gullah-Geechee culture in the twentieth century and beyond.
Click here for a downloadable PDF with information on the workshop and related resouces.
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