HINESVILLE, Ga. (WSAV) — A new exhibit honoring Susie King Taylor’s life and legacy is opening in Hinesville.
Taylor was born into slavery in Liberty County and made her mark as a Civil War laundress, freedom-fighting nurse, teacher, activist and author of her own autobiography.
This April marks the 159th anniversary of her escape from plantation slavery.
Hermina Glass Hill, executive director of the Susie King Taylor Women’s Institute and president of the Liberty County Historical Society, moved to the area to tell Taylor’s story.
“She used her literacy to become the first federally-funded teacher in the state of Georgia,” Hill said. “Her story is one of great transformation during that watershed moment of American history.”
It is the first exhibit in the U.S. dedicated solely to Taylor’s memory and honor. It’s also the first time that the Liberty County Historical Society has sponsored an African American exhibit.
“Susie King Taylor is our Geechee heroine of freedom, she is our American patriot of liberty, and we are very proud of that,” Hill told WSAV NOW. “We are making some changes in how we tell history. Within the historical society, we are looking for many ways to tell that same story.”
Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette says the county decided it was time to shine a light on one of the nation’s most notable unsung heroes.
“We want her to be recognized at home, so we’re bringing her home so people here will know all about who she is,” Lovette said. “Let those who’ve moved to Liberty County learn about her and what she’s contributed, so her story doesn’t remain in the background, but is in the forefront of U.S. history.”
The exhibit will be open Thursdays and Fridays and will run from April 24, 2021, through April 2022. Admission is free.
“In my work, I believe she’s been calling me, calling us, to tell her story,” Hill said. “It’s time.”