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We’re growing! ArtZeum is permanently closed to make room for Telfair Children’s Art Museum, opening this Summer!

Telfair Museums announced the Legacy of Slavery in Savannah Initiative, working with the community to consider how the legacies of slavery still manifest still manifest in our city. This effort is multifaceted and seeks to engage local Savannahians, artists, and scholars.

This interdisciplinary effort examines the historical roots of present-day conditions of racial inequality and uncovers dimensions of the black freedom struggle that remain underexplored: how the region’s black residents’ political, economic, social, cultural, and educational pursuits have been shaped by persistent racial discrimination whose roots stretch back to chattel slavery. This initiative will offer audiences and readers a unique and timely account of the connection between a troubled past and the present on Georgia’s coast.

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10/01/21 – 1/17/2022
Curated by Erin Dunn

Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom will feature a large-scale canopy quilted together from cyanotype reactive fabric squares and seeds that were made with the help of workshop participants during the artist Sonya Clark’s various residencies. Draped as if a night sky overhead, visitors will experience a celestial viewpoint that encourages them to consider those who sought freedom along the Underground Railroad.

10/01/21 – 1/17/2022
Curated by Erin Dunn

Noel W Anderson: Heavy is the Crown considers the Black experience and its legacies through printed works, tapestries, and works on paper. The works utilize found imagery from various media and archives that are reprocessed by the artist Noel W Anderson through assorted means of distortion and manipulation to collectively expose the relationship of black masculine (mis)representation to structures of power.

April 16, 2021 – February 27, 2022

Re-Cor-Dare is a solo #art912 exhibition of Savannah-based artist Sauda Mitchell (American, b. 1981). Mitchell’s prints, paintings, and artist books serve as compelling visual responses to her sustained engagement with archival collection materials. In researching personal papers, photographs, artifacts, and curated digital collections, her work explores thematic topics of study relating to the Black experience. Utilizing QR codes, selected works link to digitized collection materials focusing on their ability as teaching tools recalling stories embedded within the African American collective memory.

September 16, 2022 ―February 19, 2023
Organized by Monique Long, Independent Curator, with Elena Gross, Director of Exhibitions & Curatorial Affairs, Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco.

Elegies: Still Lifes in Contemporary Art will bring together an international group of artists who have disrupted or extended the traditional presentation of still lifes. The works are expressed through various mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, printmaking, performance, and installation. The artists have appropriated the genre in order to create works within a framework of Black diasporic identities, histories, and experiences. The central discourse in this exhibition considers Blackness in relation to the existential question, “How does an artist create work about the body without the body being present?” resulting in political, historical, and art historical interventions.



Melissa Cooper, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Clement A. Price Humanities Scholars Program Director
Rutgers University-Newark

Talitha LeFlouria, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History and Fellow of the Mastin Gentry White Professorship in Southern History
University of Texas at Austin

Andrew Kahrl, Ph.D.
Professor of History and African American Studies
University of Virginia

Jamil Drake, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor in the Religion Department
Florida State University

Fath Davis Ruffins
Curator of African American History and Culture in the Division of Cultural & Community Life
Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH)

Jelani Favors
Associate Professor of History
Clayton State University

Maurice Hobson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of African American Studies
Georgia State University

Felicia Jamison, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of History
Drake University

Ann Bailey, Ph.D.
Professor of History and Africana Studies
SUNY Binghamton (State University of New York)

Douglas Blackmon
Professor of Practice / Multimedia and Investigative Journalism
Georgia State University

Mia Bay, Ph.D.
Roy F. and Jeanette P. Nichols Professor of American History
University of Pennsylvania

Tina McElroy Ansa
American Novelist

Hilary Green, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
University of Alabama

Patricia Sullivan, Ph.D.
Professor of History
University of South Carolina

Julie Buckner Armstrong, Ph.D.
Professor of English
University of South Florida

Michele Johnson
Librarian/Assistant Professor of Library Science
College of Coastal Georgia

Legacy of Slavery in Savannah Initiative Book Club Series

October 8, 2020 – Julie Armstrong – Mary Turner and the Memory of Lynching. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011.


November 12, 2020 – Mia Bay – To Tell the Truth Freely: The Life of Ida B. Wells. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.

Listen to Session

December 10, 2020 – Hilary Green – Educational Reconstruction: African American Schools in the Urban South, 1865-1890, Fordham University Press, April 2016.

January 14, 2021 – Talitha LeFlouria – Chained in Silence: Black Women and Convict Labor in the New South. University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

Listen to Session

February 11, 2021 – Andrew Kahrl – The Land Was Ours: How Black Beaches Became White Wealth in the Coastal South, University of North Carolina Press, 2016.

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March 11, 2021 – Douglas Blackmon – Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II. New York: Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., 2009. ©2008.

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April 8, 2021 – Patricia Sullivan – Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement, The New Press, 2009.
Listen to Session

May 13, 2021 – Melissa Cooper – Making Gullah: A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination, University of North Carolina Press, 2017.

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June 10, 2021 – Jelani Favors – Shelter in a Time of Storm: How Black Colleges Fostered Generations of Leadership and Activism, University of North Carolina Press, 2019.

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July 8, 2021 – Maurice Hobson – The Legend of the Black Mecca: Politics and Class in the Making of Modern Atlanta. University of North Carolina Press, 2019.

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August 12, 2021 – Tina McElroy Ansa – Baby of the Family. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989.

Listen to Session

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Ahmauri Williams-Alford at

Legacy of Slavery in Savannah Initiative Events

There are no upcoming events at this time. Please check back soon!
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