Georgia Historical Society Dedicates New Civil Rights Trail Historical Marker Recognizing Political and Civic Leader Mamie George Williams

Elaine Shavers Campbell, Chapter President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Savannah Alumnae Chapter; Velma Maia Thomas Fann, historian and marker applicant; Breana James, Historical Marker and Program Coordinator, Georgia Historical Society; Chassidy Malloy, President, League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia; and Shirley Barber James, Publisher, The Savannah Tribune (l-r).

Savannah, GA, May 26, 2023 – On Thursday, May 25, 2023, the Georgia Historical Society (GHS) unveiled a new Georgia Civil Rights Trail historical marker in Savannah recognizing political and civic leader Mamie George Williams. GHS dedicated the new marker in partnership with the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Savannah Alumnae Chapter, and The Savannah Tribune.

“The Mamie George Williams historical marker is the newest marker included on GHS’s Georgia Civil Rights Trail,” said Elyse Butler, GHS Marker Manager. “The marker highlights the life and accomplishments of Williams, an African-American political and civic leader who fought for women’s suffrage. This new historical marker is located in Savannah’s Dixon Park neighborhood, where Williams lived and worked.”

The marker joins over 50 historical markers across the state that make up GHS’s Georgia Civil Rights Trail, an initiative that uses historical markers to document the struggle for human and civil rights from the period following Reconstruction to the modern movement in the mid twentieth century.

A lifelong resident of Savannah, Mamie George Williams was active in the community for over three decades, volunteering for organizations such as the Red Cross, the Girl Scouts, and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. After becoming a suffragist, Williams entered politics. She organized voter campaigns and registered African-American women to vote in the 1920 presidential election. Although the 19th Amendment passed that year, Georgia women were precluded from voting until 1922, and African-American women did not gain suffrage until the passage of the Federal Voting Rights Act in 1965. Despite these challenges and those she faced due to Jim Crow laws, she continued in politics, and in 1924 Williams was appointed to serve on the Republican National Committee.

The marker unveiling took place at Dixon Park, across the street from Carnegie Library, at 537 East Henry Street in Savannah. Speakers at the dedication included Velma Maia Thomas Fann, historian and marker applicant; Breana James, Historical Marker and Program Coordinator, Georgia Historical Society; Chassidy Malloy, President, League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia; Elaine Shavers Campbell, Chapter President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Savannah Alumnae Chapter; Shirley Barber James, Publisher, The Savannah Tribune; and Shannon Browning-Mullis, Executive Director, Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace. Four local youths performed a theatrical reading titled “I am Mamie George Williams”: Trinity Allen, Delta GEMS, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Savannah Alumnae Chapter; Paris Wilson, Girl Scout, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia, Sycamore Service Unit, Troop 30002; Abigail Gregory, The Savannah Tribune; and Nia Conley, Summer Bonanza Partnership.

The marker text reads:

Mamie George Williams

Mamie George Williams, a lifelong resident of Savannah, lived and worked near here. A political and civic leader, Williams volunteered for many organizations, including the Red Cross, the Girl Scouts, and the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs. A suffragist, she organized voter campaigns and registered African-American women to vote following passage of the 19th Amendment. Nonetheless, African Americans were denied full voting rights, due to Jim Crow laws. In 1924, Williams became the first woman from Georgia and the first African-American woman in the nation to serve on the Republican National Committee. A community leader, she led fundraising efforts for a home in Macon for African-American girls and served as vice president of Carver State Bank. She worked with the African-American Girl Scouts, financially assisting with establishing their Log Cabin Camp in Hancock County.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, the League of Women Voters of Coastal Georgia, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Savannah Alumnae Chapter, and The Savannah Tribune

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For more information about the Mamie George Williams historical marker dedication or the Georgia Historical Society marker program, please contact Keith Strigaro, Director of Communications, at 912.651.2125, ext. 153 or by email at kstrigaro@georgiahistory.com.

ABOUT THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL MARKER PROGRAM
The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) administers Georgia’s historical marker program. Over the last 25 years, GHS has erected more than 300 new historical markers across the state on a wide variety of subjects. GHS also coordinates the maintenance for more than 2,100 markers installed by the State of Georgia prior to 1998. Online mapping tools allow users to design driving routes based on historical markers, and a mobile app helps visitors locate and learn about markers nearby. Visit georgiahistory.com for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened. 
 
ABOUT THE GEORGIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation. 
To learn more visit georgiahistory.com.