This post was written by Alecia Taylor, 8th grade,
Tyler White, 8th grade, and Khalil Simms, 7th grade.
Day 5 of our Civil Rights and College & University Tour began with us being able to sleep in. It’s been a busy trip and we appreciated grabbing some extra hours of sleep in the morning. We started our day at the SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) Museum. The SCAD Museum is a museum of primarily contemporary art. There were a lot of interesting works displayed outside the museum and in the lobby. The first sculpture that we viewed were tall columns made of steel nails that were welded together. The tour guide showed us various artists’ work but our favorite was that of famous African American artist, Jacob Lawrence. His art depicted the life, love, and history of African Americans. The highlight of his displayed work was his 8-frame depiction of “the creation” story.
Next, we participated in the African American Heritage Tour. A portion of this tour included visiting First African Baptist Church. The church was well crafted consisting of furniture originally constructed in the mid 1800s. Slaves had a heavy-hand in constructing First African Baptist Church. We learned that slaves used art or symbols to express themselves or share messages since they couldn’t read or write. The squared ceiling design shared to slaves that the church was a safe haven and a part of the Underground Railroad. In the basement we saw groups of small holes in the floor, which helped with ventilation, as slaves traveled under the floorboards. We also visited Savannah’s Civil Rights museum that displayed Savannah’s impact and contrast in their Civil Rights experience. We learned that Savannah became very integrated but didn’t experience the same level of violence experience in other southern cities. After the tour we had a quick lunch and made our way to Fort Pulaski State Park.
Fort Pulaski is a historic Civil War site located on Tybee Island. We got to see the cannons they used during the war. Also, we learned how to shoot the cannons. It was a team effort requiring five people, each with a specific job. It was interesting to discover that what we refer to as “guns” today was referred to as “small arms” during the Civil War era. Cannons were called guns during the Civil War. Fort Pulaski was also a safe haven for slaves. When it was conquered by the Union Army emancipation was issued, freeing all slaves on the Fort grounds. Finally, we departed Fort Pulaski and headed to Macon, GA. It was the longest leg of our trip but the singing of chaperones Ms. Scales and Mr. Lucas kept us entertained. Saturday is our last day of the tour which will include a stop at the Harriet Tubman Museum.