Thursday, March 26, 2015

Monument to An American Family

On the old cobblestone waterfront in Savannah, on the spot where slaves first put their feet on the ground in Georgia, stands a moving memorial to the African-American family.





At their feet the chains of slavery have fallen away.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inscription on the base, written by American poet and author Maya Angelou, brought tears to my eyes.

"We were stolen, sold and bought together from the African continent. We got on the slave ships together. We lay back to belly in the holds of the slave ships in each others' excrement and urine together, sometimes died together, and our lifeless bodies thrown overboard together."

The harshness some saw in her words affected funding. After years of delay in getting the memorial built, Angelou added a final line:

"Today, we are standing up together, with faith and even some joy."

It seems a weak addition after the strength and impact of her original words, but it did get the memorial completed and placed.


The African American Monument was built in 2002, designed by Savannah College of Art and Design professor Dorothy Spradley.

 

 

 

16 comments:

  1. What a lovely remembrance. Maya Angelou was a wonderful writer, such emotion and passion.

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  2. A really moving tribute and great monument.

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  3. Cynthia great monument . Slavery was a dark period in your histoty. Here it was unknown

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  4. The last line seems to have been written by someone else. Did you know that people trafficking is still going on and the UK courts have used the slavery laws to convict people today! We don't seem to have made a great deal of progress as a society.

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  5. Very touching. I have read several 'fictional' books about the African slaves in America.

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  6. A touching monument with a great text to it. Maya Angelou wrote such interesting books about the subject. I read almost all of them. Amazing the text was to strong for some people to be published.

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  7. A beautiful statue of a sad time in the history of USA

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  8. Beautiful. Truth can be a harsh pill to swallow. And I agree with the commenter who wonders how far have we really come. Not far enough I fear.

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  9. Reading your post came to know about this. It's very sad...

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  10. Oh my goodness. Reading that gave me chills. How very sad.

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  11. I agree with you about the weakness of the added line. We should remember the harsh reality. I do like the memorial, though.

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  12. Powerful memorial. There are non-fiction books.

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  13. It's a shame that people feel the need to whitewash the truth and hide the ugliness. And yet slavery still does go on - it needs to be uncovered. A good post for social comment.

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  14. It's a beautiful monument standing there but a heartbreaking remembrance. I like history but it always tears my heart apart.

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  15. I have mixed feelings about this monument. From a personal view I think this is a beautiful monument and a reminder of our history and how not to treat people who may be different from ourselves. But with the recent violence, and the new Black Panther group and others like it I wonder if this monument continues to be a reminder of a painful past which adds to the anger those few still carry.

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  16. A visit to the past and a delightful change from the weather here.

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