We are standing with the Gullah/Geechee Family in West Savannah, GA as they seek to protect the historic community around the location of The Weeping Time. On March 2 and 3 in 1859 enslavers auctioned approximately 436 enslaved African people. The tremendous amount of rain that poured down during this crime against humanity, were the tears of the ancestors that cried out for their children. Annually, March 2nd and 3rd are days in which we pay homage to those that suffered during that auction which has come to be called “The Weeping Time.” We weep no more as we stand for our ancestors and for and with our people of West Savannah!
The community of West Savannah is not on the tourism maps and is largely overlooked by those visiting the Coastal Empire. As a result, the City of Savannah has not invested in the upliftment of that part of the city. Numerous calls for economic empowerment and affordable housing have been made over the years and instead of bringing these things in to increase the quality of life of the residents that have been there for generations, the City of Savannah is entertaining a proposal from the Salvation Army to place a shelter in the midst of the community near a sacred site in the Gullah/Geechee Nation-the site of The Weeping Time. Even though this is enough to bring tears to our eyes, the community is not weeping. However, we are crying out to those that visit and live in and around the City of Savannah, GA to stand up with them and tell the Mayor and the City Council to find another location for this shelter and to invest in the economic upliftment and sustainability of this historic Black Gullah/Geechee community.
Our family in West Savannah contends that the cultural and economic change that they need and want is to stop these types of negative developments and zoning assaults that render the community vulnerable and fragile. These structural and systemic assaults are the causes of persistent generational poverty.
There is richness in the community of West Savannah that has yet to be tapped and this shelter is not the appropriate mechanism for tapping that richness. On this 162nd anniversary of The Weeping Time Auction, West Savannah residents are fighting for a fair chance by wanting to use the grounds of this sacred asset to benefit and uplift this community. So, tell Mayor Van Johnson and the Savannah City Council that you stand with the Gullah/Geechee family in West Savannah, GA and you are crying out, but will weep no more!