West Savannah community members hope to participate in archaeological study of shelter site off Augusta Avenue

Updated: May. 2, 2021 at 11:19 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Faith and community leaders gathered at Solomon Temple Sunday afternoon to talk about their recent efforts to stop the development of a proposed homeless shelter in West Savannah off of Augusta Avenue. The group believes the property is a part of The Weeping Time.

“We want to make sure that we’re not sold again in West Savannah,” said Pastor Larry Gordon of Solomon Temple.

The Weeping Time was a two-day-long sale of enslaved people who were brought from Butler Island in McIntosh County to West Savannah. Several community leaders and residents are hoping to honor that history and have been speaking out against the proposed Salvation Army Homeless Shelter off of Augusta Avenue.

“Do not take it. It’s for us, the birthright people, to benefit and to preserve,” said Gordon.

The group says the property off of Augusta Avenue was use in The Weeping Time. City records show that The Weeping Time did not happen there, but at a site just to the south. This has led to the approval by the Savannah City Council of an archaeological study to be done to prove the land is not part of The Weeping Time property before the development can continue.

Pastor Gordan says they want to be part of that study.

“Funds are being raised to ensure that the people have a professional expert and, accurate, to give an accurate assessment of the property,” he said.

Gordan says several organizations and community members have donated to their recent effort, though he would not say how much has been raised.

“We’re not getting into specifics. It’s up to the group, at that particular point, to approve what is to be given where,” he said.

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