2024 Weeping Time Commemoration

165th Anniversary

Thursday, February 29th - Sunday, March 3rd

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!


Thursday, February 29th

10:00am - 11:30am

The Weeping Time: Past, Present & Future

Georgia Southern University: Armstrong Campus: Gullah Geechee Center

13040 Abercorn Street, Savannah, Georgia 31410

Panel Discussion led by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft Hanson
Host: Dr. Maxine L. Bryant: Director: Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Center

3:00pm - 4:30pm

The Weeping Time: Past, Present & Future

Savannah State University: Asa H. Gordon Library

2200 Tompkins Road, Savannah, Georgia 31404

Panel Discussion led by Dr. Kwesi DeGraft-Hanson
Hosts: Dr. Deborah Johnson-Simon: Scholar-In-Residence, and Friends of the Library

Friday, March 1st

11:30am - 1:30pm

Food as Commemoration, and Researching African American Genealogy

The Beach Institute African American Cultural Center

502 East Harris Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401

Panel Discussion led by Ms. Kiplyn Primus: WCLK 91.9 FM: Clark Atlanta University: Atlanta
Host: Mr. Johnathan Winbush: General Manager: King-Tisdale Cottage Foundation

2:00pm - 3:00pm

Teaching the Future about The Past

Otis J. Brock III Elementary School

1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, Georgia 31415

Presenter: Dr. Kwesi DeGraft-Hanson
Host: Dr. Desma Patterson: Principal: Otis J. Brock III Elementary School


Twilight Ceremony: Light Up Butler Island

Butler Island Plantation

7777 Butler Island Road, Darien, Georgia 31305

Host: Queen Mother Eunice Moore; Elder Griffin Lotson; Councilman Dr. William Collins; Ms. Missy Brandt-Wilson; Darien & McIntosh County Community
You may bring a Solar Light to place on the paths of Butler Island in memoriam.

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


Libations and Laying of the Wreath

Georgia Historical Society Marker

2053 Augusta Avenue, Savannah, Georgia 31415

Host: Dr. Brenda Roberts: Educator and Administrator: Savannah

10:00am - 12:00pm

2024 Weeping Time Commemoration Ceremony: Savannah

Otis J. Brock III Elementary School

1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, Georgia 31415

Keynote: Dr. Daniel Black
Professor of Africana Studies: Clark Atlanta University

You are encouraged to bring your Umbrella for the Moment of Silence, which will take place during the Ceremony.

Sunday, March 3rd

2:00pm - 4:00pm

2024 Weeping Time Commemoration Service: 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 & Mr. Arthur Stewart: St. Cyprians Church

5:00pm - 6:30pm

Gathering for Libations and Candle Lighting Ceremonies (TENTATIVE; Based On Interest)

Igbo Landing + Hampton Hampton Plantation: St. Simons Island

Host: Mother Amy Lotson Roberts; St. Simons Island Community; Elder Griffin Lotson; Ms. Delores Polite