Historical marker honors Savannah woman who fought for women’s rights

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 3:51 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah’s newest historical marker honors a local African American woman who fought for women’s rights beginning in the 1920s.

“Mamie George Williams is our history.”

And now her history lies in Dixon Park near where Mamie George Williams once lived in Savannah.

A politician, volunteer and a suffragist, Williams registered 40,000 African American women to vote in 1920 following the passage of the 19th Amendment.

A large crowd, including current politicians, gathered to honor her legacy that they hope inspires young Black women.

“I want them to know that she was tops in politics, spoke up for African American people, that she was the vice president of a bank and that she cared about youth,” said historian Velma Maia Thomas Fann.

And youth resonated with that message.

“I am Mamie George Williams. I am Mamie George Williams. I am Mamie George Williams.”

Not only was Williams a member of several organizations and President of the Chatham County Colored Citizen Council, she also was the first African American woman to serve on the National Republican Committee, supporting the party that freed the enslaved.

“It’s her spirit that we want to continue to have among us, that will encourage us, that will inspire us, that will motivate us. If Mamie did it during the times when she was alive with all of the obstacles and the roadblocks and everything that was in her path, what does that say to us today?” said Shirley James, a publisher at the Savannah Tribune.

The answer to that question. “Don’t get weary till your work is done.”