SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The weekend-long commemoration for “The Weeping Time” closed today with prayers and songs honoring the 429 people auctioned in the largest slave sale in American history.
161 years ago in West Savannah, the “The Weeping Time” auction took place. The event became known as “The Weeping Time” due to the heavy rainfall that occurred during the two-day auction.
Community members gathered together to: “…memorialize, to remember to think about our enslaved ancestors,” Brenda Roberts, one of the organizers stated.
Speakers talked about the need to acknowledge the past “in order to move forward into a successful future.”
Dr. Kwesi DeGraft-Hanson, the president and founder of OCEANS Inc., spoke about the men, women, and children that were brought to the former Ten Broeck Race Course—describing the stalls he said the people were housed in prior to the auction.
“What they did not know was that God’s tears would become the river of their freedom. The next two years, after ‘The Weeping Time’ auction, saw a continuing and swelling tide in this country against slavery, and led irrevocably to the total emancipation of all enslaved people in America by 1865,” DeGraft-Hanson said.
“They’re smiling right now, from the work they have done wasn’t in vain. We hopin’ and prayin’ that we all, as one nationality, that they just come together and just be happy and joyful as one not as this color that color but as one,” Roy Jones, a member of the community, stated.
During Saturday’s commemoration ceremony it was announced that starting this year, the first weekend in March will officially be recognized as “The Weeping Time”.