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SAVANNAH, GA. – OCT. 13, 2021 – Community partners, the Davenport House Museum, Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, and the Andrew Low House Museum, along with Historic Savannah Foundation (HSF) are slated to host the “Pioneers in Preservation Series: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and Its Legacy,” The series – led by Honorary Chair Carol Bell, former Mayor Pro Tem – will begin Thursday, Nov. 11, and run through Sunday, Nov. 14.

The Pioneers in Preservation, funded by The ACE Grant community program and Georgia Humanities, is a free, multi-day series of events that will familiarize the Coastal Empire and Lowcountry communities with the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and its legacy. Each day, a new program will be hosted at a partnering museum site to provide a unique and engaging experience for attendees.

“We have a wonderful and engaging lineup for our guests this year. We want our visitors to thoroughly enjoy learning the history behind the City of Savannah. Some of the history is tragic and heartbreaking, some is remarkable and uplifting – but it all went into making our city what it is today, so we hope to tell the full story in a truthful and reverent way,” HSF Education and Research Associate Kimberly Newbold said. “Working with partner museums has made it possible to do a series of programs that one museum could not do alone. We’re grateful for the collaboration of the Davenport House Museum, Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, the Andrew Low House Museum, and everyone who supports HSF’s efforts to preserve Savannah’s heritage.”   

The first event of the series will kick off at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, located at 41 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Gullah/Geechee Nation luminary Queen Quet will deliver a thought-provoking, “edu-taining,” “histo-musical” performance highlighting Gullah-Geechee roots while focusing on the strength of tradition and the power of story through music.

The second event of the series is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at the historic Second African Church located at 123 Houston St. Dr. Sowande Mustakeem, associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis, will provide the key-note lecture on her groundbreaking work, “Slavery at Sea: Terror, Sex, and Sickness in the Middle Passage.”

The Pioneers in Preservation series continues Saturday, Nov. 13 with a lecture and tasting event, “Tasting Traditions!” at the Andrew Low House Museum, located at 329 Abercorn St. This event will have two tastings, the first beginning at 1:30 p.m. and the next at 3:30 p.m. The museum will host Vaughnette Goode-Walker, who will lecture on African American food traditions. Goode-Walker will talk about food culture in the 19th and 20th centuries and relate these traditions to Mosianna Milledge, an enslaved and later free servant to the Low family. Local chef, Sallie Ann Robinson, will give an informal talk and perform a cooking demonstration, preparing dishes influenced by African American traditions and present-day inspirations.

The series wraps up in the afternoon on Sunday, Nov. 14, at the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, 41 MLK Jr. Blvd. The museum will host a workshop from 1:00 – 3:30 covering the construction of a mbira, a west African thumb piano, with a detachable cigar box resonator. This workshop is limited to 20 participants and is restricted to ages eight and older. Guests will participate in the activity in the museum’s Assembly Room in the North Garden, where COVID-19 safety precautions will be observed.

“It is wonderful to have colleagues to join forces with to present revelational programming. The part of the series that the Davenport House had a hand in putting together is the opening evening with Queen Quet of Gullah Geechee Nation and the keynote lecture with Dr. Sowande Mustakeem. It will be an honor to be in their company and share in the discovery of their work. We hope the community will come out to see these programs which are free and open to the public,” Davenport House Museum Director Jamie Credle said.

Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum Interim Executive Director/Curator Wendy Melton is thrilled her museum will share in hosting these very special events.

“Ships of the Sea is honored to collaborate with our Partners in Preservation in recognizing the significant African contributions to this region’s culture. It is a recognition that is long overdue,” Melton said.

Rebecca Eddins, Andrew Low House Museum Executive Director, echoed Melton’s sentiment.

“This collaborative effort between our three respective museums represents a meaningful and lasting partnership. We are able to pool our resources and provide visitors with an engaging experience of this important topic,” Eddins said.

For more information on the “Pioneers in Preservation Series” or other HSF events, please visit, call 912-233-7787, and follow HSF on their social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This project is supported by Georgia Humanities, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, through appropriations made by the Georgia General Assembly and by the City of Savannah Arts and Cultural Enrichment (ACE) Program. 

Historic Savannah Foundation, a leading nonprofit preservation and cultural institution, saves buildings, places, and stories that define Savannah’s past, present, and future. Following its formation in 1955, the organization started a Revolving Fund to save endangered historic properties, totaling over 400 buildings throughout several of Savannah’s historic districts. HSF continues to build capacity within its operations, secure new financial resources, improve its image and visibility, and increase public policy efforts to protect Savannah’s historic districts. For more information about the work of the Historic Savannah Foundation, visit


For media inquiries, please contact Hollie Barnidge at or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950 or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377).