Editor: I would like to personally appreciate those sponsors and members of the greater Liberty County community for their support on Feb. 5 of the second annual Susie King Taylor Symposium. Hosted by the Dorchester Improvement Association at the Historic Dorchester Academy, the symposium was well received and well attended by the local community, out-of-town and out-of-state guests.
The symposium continued its emphasis on educating our youth with a visit to Liberty Elementary School and Midway Middle School to introduce the students to the life and contributions of Liberty County native, Susie Baker King Taylor. Historian, lecturer and preservationist Hermina Glass-Hill’s presentation was met with newfound interest and inspired thought provoking questions from the students. At Midway Middle, the students were able to connect the presentation with the Georgia History curriculum as taught to them by their teacher, Mr. Josephus Williams.
Special thanks is extended to the Liberty County Historical Society, Georgia Power, The Liberty County Chamber and CVB, Chemtall and Mayor Bill Austin. Inspirational entertainment was provided by the Midway Congregational Youth Praise Dance Team, Leah Hayes and Mary Fuller. Paulette Robertson was the articulate and enthusiastic mistress of ceremony for the evening. Raymond Palmer and Catering by Covenant provided refreshments. Dr. Sonia Bacon played a pivotal role as the point of contact for Dorchester. Her media support and era sensitive props lured the audience into the sense of time and place. Thanks also to the Coastal Courier for covering the event.
I cannot say enough about our speaker Hermina Glass-Hill. After last year’s symposium, she was led to move to Liberty County. Since her arrival she has spent countless hours in research and has made it her personal campaign to educate the world on Susie Baker King Taylor. I wish her the best on her new children’s book, "Happy Birthday Susannah" and on her upcoming Mami Wata Rising Conference April 13-15 in Midway.
It is a result of Hermina’s research, commitment and agreement to navigate the application process that Susie Baker King Taylor will be inducted in the Georgia Women of Achievement on March 10. Another reason to be Liberty County proud!
The reviews of the symposium confirm the quest for greater knowledge of Liberty County’s rich African American history. Many families present for the event expressed new or renewed interest in their genealogy. Members of the Pray, McIver, Baker, Martin and other families in the audience were pleasantly surprised to hear their family surnames mentioned as a part of the Susie Baker King Taylor story.
The planning committee is already brainstorming on how to enhance next year’s symposium.
Thanks again to the Dorchester Improvement Association’s commitment to open its doors to allow local citizens the opportunity to experience the history of yesterday and history in the making in their own backyard.