SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – “My Story, Your Story, Our Story” is the theme of this year’s Savannah Black Heritage Festival, now in its 31st year.
Savannah State University and the city of Savannah present the monthlong festival every February during Black History Month. The Beach Institute African-American Cultural Center hosted a grand opening of their new exhibition which showcases the works of artists from the National Alliance of Artists from Historical Black Colleges and Universities.
Dr. Peggy Blood, the president of the National Alliance of Artists from Historical Black Colleges and Universities, is also the curator of the exhibit.
“This is our story. The Black Heritage Festival is not just for black people, it is for everybody. Everyone should know the history of African Americans, their contributions to this country. Everyone should know what African Americans have done in the past, what they are doing now as contributing to our country,” Blood said.
“And the idea is to help wake people up to relevant issues, questions that are meaningful, and the question always is, ‘How do I show up in the world, what contributions can I make?’,” Vandorn Hinnant, one of the exhibit’s sculptors said.
Pieces throughout the exhibit recognize prominent historical figures like Harriet Tubman and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hinnant said it is an opportunity: “For us to recover what has been lost, to sustain a memory, and not the horrors from the past but the beauty and the passion for freedom. Every human desires freedom.”
The Beach Institute Chairman Ron Christopher said he is honored to display the artist’s work.
“Just incredibly impressive is the ability to translate, you know, world events, human history into these wonderful pieces of art,” Christopher stated.
Hinnant wanted people to know that, “anyone can join the fight for freedom.”
“We can all be freedom fighters, ok, and anybody that takes a stand for human rights is a freedom fighter; no matter who they are, where they are, or when they are,” the sculptor exclaimed.