12 Dec 2021
February marks Black History Month. Commemorate the occasion by exploring historic sites that recognize Black heritage and culture. Savannah has more than 250 years of black history, which is woven into the fabric of the city. With several sites that focus on this important part of its past, Savannah makes a great destination.
Pin Point Heritage Museum, located in the old A.S. Varn & Son Oyster and Crab Factory, is an opportunity to experience the Gullah/Geechee culture, built by descendants of West and Central Africans who were enslaved in the Carolinas, Florida, and Georgia. For nearly 100 years, the community of Pin Point was quietly isolated on the banks of the Moon River south of Savannah. Explore the refurbished museum complex and experience multimedia presentations and exciting exhibits. Admission is $9 for adults and $5 for children ages 2 through 12. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday.
An inspirational way to honor history is to worship at the First African Baptist Church, which dates to 1773 when it was founded by freemen and had slaves in attendance. The church also served as part of the Underground Railroad with a crawl space for those seeking freedom. Take a tour with a knowledgeable guide to learn about America’s history as experienced from the pews of this church. Tours are available Wednesday through Saturday at 3 p.m. Cost is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military, and students.
Another informative stop is the Owen Thomas House and Slave Quarters. Constructed in 1819, the house, adjacent gardens, carriage house, and slave quarters allow visitors to better understand the complicated relationships of the early 19th century. The north half of the structure contained the original slave quarters, a two-story structure with three rooms on each level. Nine to 15 enslaved people - about half of whom are children - lived and worked on the site at any given time between 1819 and the end of the Civil War. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Wednesday when the museum is closed. Admission is $20 for adults (includes a total of three Telfair Museums), $18 for seniors and active military; $15 for students 13-25; $5 for children ages 6-12 and free for ages 5 and under.
If you want to dive into the heritage, take an African-American history tour. Footprints of Savannah Walking Tour takes participants on a walk through of Savannah's history along forgotten footpaths of the city. The tour covers the story of urban slavery, the slave trade, and the cotton trade in Savannah. Or take a mini-bus for the Freedom Trail Tour, with a knowledgeable guide who leaves guests with a better understanding of the history that helped form the city. You’ll never look at Savannah the same.
What better way to honor Black History Month than to get to know the historic contributions in one of your favorite cities?