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First African Baptist Church-interior
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First African Baptist Church-interior
April 2016
Savannah, GA
The ceiling at First African is in the design of a "Nine Patch Quilt," which indicated that the church was a safe haven for slaves (it was a symbol of the Underground Railroad). The church, constituted in 1777, came from the oldest Negro congregation in the United States. It is said to be the first building built of brick by African Americans in the state of Georgia.
ID Number
Project Title
Memorialization of Urban Slavery in Southern Coastal Cities
Student Name
Whang, Maura
Student Statement
My goal was to research, witness, and record how each of my chosen Southern port cities has dealt with its past in regards to urban slavery, and to begin making a record of this history. Although all of the locations I visited were major hubs of the American slave trade, these cities remain mostly lacking in admitting their full and complete history. The inaccurate and incomplete narratives, lack of memorials, and white-washed histories designed to appeal to the tourist industry do not tell the stories of the slaves in an unbiased and forthright way. So much of what I witnessed revolved around a very racially divided tourist industry, but I know that change is possible. The story of urban slavery is not just the story of African Americans in the United States, but the story of all of us, and the more we can understand this, the better off we all will be.
Year Awarded
Project Description
This project was funded by Bernard and Anne Spitzer Travel Fellowship for research projects involving travel abroad and incorporating the study of architecture, landscape architecture, or urbanism.
Whang, Maura
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Whang, Maura
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