Saturday on The Local Take, I speak with Brenda Lynne Roberts, a former educator in Savannah who serves on The Weeping Time Commemoration Committee. I talk with Ms. Roberts about Senate Bill 90 (SB90), which will create a Georgia Commission on African American History and Culture. This commission will discover, document, preserve and promote Georgia's African American heritage with a primary focus on educating citizens of this state about the significance of Georgia's African American experience.
She shares that the Butler Island Plantation, where over 400 enslaved humans were ripped from the only home they knew to be sold at the Broeck Ten Racecourse, was almost lost to developers wanting to open a Brewery. The site where we have commemorated this event since 2017 is now up for being turned into a homeless shelter. Without SB90, our community will have to fight over every piece of sacred land in our state. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 Commemoration will take place virtually. Roberts shares that the event will stream over their Facebook and Youtube Channels. Additionally, this year, there is The Weeping Time Umbrella Challenge. During the commemoration, we raise open umbrellas to signify the torrential rains that started on March 2, 1859, at 9AM when the auctioneer raised his gavel to start the sale. It rained so hard the sale was delayed an hour and began at 10AM. The sale took place over two days, and when the last human left the auction block, the skies cleared. If you can't join us virtually on March 6 at 10AM, we ask that you please go outside and hold up an umbrella for 4 minutes - one minute for every 100 humans sold to commemorate those souls dispersed from their generational homes. The enslaved humans called it The Weeping Time, declaring that heaven's tears were falling due to man's inhumanity. At the virtual commemoration, we will hear from Dr. Kwesi deGraft Hanson, Savannah Mayor Honorable Van R. Johnson, II, historian Anne Bailey, songstress Rev. T. Renee Crutcher, Senator Lester Jackson, and more.