Erected in Rousakis Plaza along River Street, Savannah’s African-American Monument honors the contributions of its black citizens to its history, economy and culture, and acknowledges the city’s role in the institution of slavery.
It represents an important step forward in the inclusion of slavery and the black experience in Savannah’s public monuments, and a reminder of the many contributions made by the enslaved people by whom much of Savannah, literally and figuratively, was built.
The City of Savannah publicly acknowledged its involvement in the institution of slavery in 2007, five years after the African-American Monument was unveiled. That same year, a second memorial to the black contribution to Savannah, the Haitian Monument, was unveiled in Franklin Square.
The African-American Monument was designed by Savannah artist Dorothy Spradley. Standing nearly 11 feet tall, with a granite base, it depicts, in bronze, a family of four African-Americans in modern dress, standing together with broken chains around their feet.
The figures are positioned to face towards Africa. They face also towards the Savannah River and the Atlantic Ocean, upon which they were shipped as chattel to their new fates and what would become their new country.
Photo captured October 7, 2019.
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