2023 Weeping Time Commemoration

164th Anniversary

Friday, March 3rd - Sunday, March 5th, 2023

On March 2 and 3, 1859, the largest slave sale in recorded American history took place at the former Ten Broeck horse racecourse in West Savannah, Georgia when 429 men, women, boys and girls from the Butler plantations near Darien and St. Simons Island, Georgia, were transported to Savannah and sold. The sale took two days during which time families were separated and scattered throughout the American south; many never saw each other again.

During the entire course of the sale, it rained torrentially in Savannah, stopping only after the last enslaved person had been sold. African Americans call this traumatic event The Weeping Time because, they say, God must have been weeping.

The general public is cordially invited to participate in the in-person celebrations!

Itinerary

Thursday, March 2nd
(first day of the 1859 Weeping Time Slave Sale)

5:30pm - 8:00pm

The Genealogy of The Weeping Time: Tracking/Tracing Butler Descendants

The Beach Institute African American Cultural Center

502 East Harris Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401

Panel Discussion led by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson
Video Presentation by Nicka Smith: Genealogist
Host: Dr. Johnathan Winbush

Friday, March 3rd
(second day of the 1859 Weeping Time Slave Sale)

10:00am

Teaching the Future about The Past

10:30am - 11:30am

Otis J. Brock Elementary School

1804 Stratford Street  |  Savannah, Georgia 31415

Presenter: Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson


1:00pm - 2:30pm

The Genealogy of The Weeping Time: Tracking/Tracing People and Place

Georgia Southern University: Armstrong Campus: Gullah Geechee Center

13040 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31410

Panel Discussion Led by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson
Video Presentation by Nicka Smith: Genealogist
Host: Dr. Jamal Toure'


5:00pm

Twilight Ceremony: Light Up Butler Island

Butler Island Plantation

7777 Butler Island Road, Darien, Georgia 31305

Host: Mother Eunice Moore: Darien Community
5:30pm: Libations/Ceremony
You may bring a Solar Light to place on the paths of Butler Island in memoriam.

Saturday, March 4th

9:00am

Commemorating The Weeping Time

Georgia Historical Society Marker

2053 Augusta Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31415

Libations and Laying of the Wreath


10:00am - 12:00pm

2023 Weeping Time Commemoration Ceremony: Savannah

Otis J. Brock Elementary School

1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, Georgia 31415

Keynote: Dr. R. Candy Tate
Darien Descendant, Visiting Professor of Art History: Tuskegee University

You are encouraged to bring your Umbrella for the Moment of Silence.


2:00pm - 4:00pm

Gathering at Butler Island: Storytelling/Libations Ceremony

Butler Island Plantation

7777 Butler Island Road (Highway 17), Darien, Georgia 31305

Host: Mother Eunice Moore & Community

Sunday, March 5th

2:00pm - 4:00pm

2023 Weeping Time Commemoration Ceremony: Darien

St. Cyprians Church

(built by Freedmen and Women; former Butler enslaved)
401 Fort King George Drive, Darien, Georgia 31305

Host: Ms. Clara Rowsey-Stewart

Monday, March 6th

1:00pm - 2:30pm

Beyond Boundaries of The Weeping Time: A Genealogy of People and Place

Savannah State University: Asa H. Gordon Library

2200 Tompkins Road, Savannah, Georgia 31404

Panel Discussion led by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson
Video Presentation by Nicka Smith: Genealogist
Hosts: Friends of the Library



Contacts:
Savannah: Dr. Brenda Roberts: 912.308.6417
Atlanta: Ms. Kiplyn Primus: 678.641.2143
Darien: Ms. Clara Rowsey-Stewart: 912.271.5672
Rincon: Servant Emannu'el Branch: 912.507.0107

We look forward to seeing you!