Massie Heritage Center Wins
Coastal Museums Association Annual Awards for Excellence
The Coastal Museums Association (CMA) held its fifth annual CMA Awards of Excellence on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, to recognize the exceptional educational and cultural programming delivered by local museums and cultural institutions during the 2017 calendar year.
The Excellence in ExhibitionAward was given to Massie Heritage Centerfor the Enslavement to Emancipation: the Struggle for Education, which tells the story of African American education in Savannah from the early 19th century until the 1960s. It begins with the “Pioneers of Education”, people like Jane and Catherine Duvaeux, James Simms, James Porter, Mother Matilda Beasley, and Susie King Taylor, who operated clandestine schools here in Savannah when it was illegal to teach a person(s) of color to read or write. The exhibit continues to explore the Freedmen’s schools that were operated here immediately after the Civil War, Massie was one of them for a short period in summer and fall 1865. These schools were funded by the Freedmen’s Bureau and usually operated by the AMA. Eventually, most of these schools were incorporated into the Chatham County Public School system in 1872, six years after our local public school system first began in 1866. . Finally, the exhibit ends with the story of how a group of brave young men and women integrated two Chatham County schools in 1963.