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The Original Nine

Frank B. Mullino, Sr. was one, but more importantly, he was one of nine: the “Original Nine” Black police officers in Savannah. What did it take to be a Black police officer in the deep South in 1947? Perfection and grit beyond what anyone has seen. Savannah whittled 60 men down to 16 and thenContinue reading “The Original Nine”

Wright Vs. Georgia

Warning: case uses term “negroes,” because it was argued in 1962. This is a slight departure from my normal cemetery fare, but this case deserves remembrance. In 1961 six young adults were arrested for playing basketball peacefully in Daffin Park. Apparently in Savannah playing basketball while Black was indeed a crime. This is the SupremeContinue reading “Wright Vs. Georgia”

Those Who Left

Some Savannah-born-and-raised residents went on to do so much good here, while other went out of state, even out of the country, to do good. Sometimes you go where you are called to be. Two people come to mind when I think of those men and women. One is James Stewart, who joined the CanadianContinue reading “Those Who Left”

E.K. Love

Despite being born in to slavery, Emanuel K. Love went on on become a college graduate, a fearless fighter for Black rights, and the reverend of one of the oldest churches in the United States. According to the Georgia Encyclopedia: E. K. Love (1850-1900) was a prominent Baptist leader and writer in nineteenth-century Georgia. Dedicated to fightingContinue reading “E.K. Love”

Jane Deveaux

It’s hard enough to take severe risks to pull yourself ahead, but to take on those risks for the sake of others takes a certain kind of courageous person. Jane Deveaux was one of those brave Savannah residents. She risked her freedom to help slaves read and write. The application for Laurel Grove South toContinue reading “Jane Deveaux”

Bridie Freeman

Bridie Freeman (1886-1958) founded the Freeman School of Beauty Culture in 1919, but her school was really so much more to the Black residents of Savannah. Below is an interview that Georgia Public Broadcasting conducted with one of Bridie’s descendants: Madame Freeman was born Bridie Andres in 1886 in Beaufort, SC. She later she movedContinue reading “Bridie Freeman”

Sol C. Johnson

It might be easier to say what Sol C. Johnson (1867-1954) didn’t do than what he did, as his accomplishments and contributions were so vast. He helped found the Carnegie Library on Henry Street, which according to Connect Savannah: HERE’S A FACTOID that might surprise even the most studious Savannah bookworm: When the Carnegie LibraryContinue reading “Sol C. Johnson”

W.W. Law

You could say W.W. Law (1923-2002) did many things, but if we had to sum it up into one line we would say that he set a standard for dignified treatment. He set the standard of how Laurel Grove South Cemetery, which had fallen into disrepair, should be treated by making the moves to restoreContinue reading “W.W. Law”

First African Baptist Church

It would be hard to talk about Savannah history without mentioning the First African Baptist Church. It started before America was a nation, and the people who formed it fought for the freedom of religious expression under great duress and possible punishment/death. The First African Baptist Church website details the church’s long history: First AfricanContinue reading “First African Baptist Church”

Anthony K. DesVerney

Anthony (1831-1892) and his son Edward (1868-1915) DesVerney made up one of the richer and more prominent families of Savannah, but their family history is not without great scandal. Anthony Kirk DesVerney was born in Charleston on Oct 11th, 1831 to Peter Prioleau DesVerney, the once-slave who was known for his role as a traitorContinue reading “Anthony K. DesVerney”

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