Editor: I would like to personally appreciate those sponsors and members of the greater Liberty County Community for their overwhelming support on February 6 to witness and partake in the First Susie King Taylor Symposium.
While the committee and I felt the necessity to bring Susie King Taylor’s story to the forefront there was no clear indication how the symposium would be received by members of the community. Staged at the Historic Dorchester Academy, the setting was perfect.
The connection between Dorchester’s history as the first formal school for newly freed slaves in Liberty County and Susie King Taylor’s place in history as one of the first African American women to open a school for newly freed slaves in the state of Georgia was palatable.
Mayor Bill Austin, Dr. Sonia Bacon and the Dorchester Association members can be proud of Dorchester’s place in history to host this event. Your preservation work is not in vain.
As we say in the South "I know Mrs. Mary Baggs, Doris Johnson, Mildred Butler and Lillie Gilliard are smiling in their graves."
Moreover, you can look forward to the increased exposure promised from the speaker in her travels as she shares her new experience gleaned from visiting Susie King Taylor’s native Liberty County.
Special thanks is also extended to Randy Branch of the Liberty County Historical Society, Collie Williams and Georgia Power, Leah Poole and the Liberty County CVB, Monina Morris and the Bradwell Institute Mixed Chorus, Raymond Palmer and Catering By Covenant, Mitchell Boston and The Eleven Black Men of Liberty County, Ms. Shutts, Principal Scott Carrier and the Bradwell Institute staff and students, Sara Hein, Principal Stephanie Woods and the Liberty County High staff and students, Tiffany King and the Coastal Courier and our speaker Hermina Glass-Hill.
The attendance of 150 plus was an overwhelming vote of confidence in our efforts to highlight Liberty County’s African American history. While our initial plans were to make this an annual event, many have requested more frequent presentations. The committee sponsors and I will be meeting soon to have that discussion.
In the words of the old Negro spiritual as for Susie King Taylor and her contributions to American History, "Ain’t No Stranger Now."
Our clearly defined mandate is to share many other untold and undocumented stories of the African American experience in Liberty County.
It has made me "Liberty County Proud" to chair this symposium and to have it so well received by the citizens I am honored to serve.
Lovette is chairman of the Liberty County Commission