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New exhibit to honor Savannah civil-rights legend W.W. Law
Massie Heritage Center hosts walking tours highlighting historic sites
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The Massie Heritage Center exhibit honoring W.W. Law highlights the Negro Heritage Trail, an educational walking tour in Savannah. - photo by Massie Heritage Center
As a celebration of Black History Month, beginning in early February the Massie Heritage Center will debut a new exhibition to highlight the legacy of Savannah civil-rights leader W.W. Law, in partnership with the city’s Municipal Archives department.

Savannah-born Westley Wallace Law (1923-2002), commonly known as W.W. Law, is considered an icon of the civil-rights movement as a historian, teacher, preservationist, and an inspiring presence in the community during an era of inequality and social injustice.

Among Law’s many accomplishments, the Massie Heritage Center exhibit will highlight the Negro Heritage Trail, an educational walking tour in Savannah that Law curated. Law also led the movement to preserve one of Savannah’s historical treasures, the King-Tisdell Cottage, which at one point was slated for demolition.

The collaboration between the Massie Heritage Center and Savannah’s Municipal Archives will include a visual exhibit shedding light on Law’s legacy, with documents and images capturing the inception and early years of the Negro Heritage Trail. The display will be on view during Feb. 8-March 8 in the Massie Heritage Center’s Heritage Classroom.

To complement this exhibit, recreations of the Negro Heritage Trail tours − “Revisiting W.W. Law’s Negro Heritage Trail” − will be offered every Monday through Friday at 2 p.m. throughout the month of the exhibition. Tours will focus on the National Historic Landmark District, and they will highlight Law’s legacy in the city of Savannah.

“We are here as educators, and Mr. Law was a pioneer of heritage education in Savannah. He fervently believed that in order to empower yourself you have to know about your past, and he believed that you cannot possibly tell the history of Savannah without the Black perspective, so that’s why he put this trail together,” said Massie Heritage Center Curator Steven Smith.

Admission is $10 per person for both the exhibit and tour, with pandemic-safety precautions enforced and face masks required throughout the exhibition. Visit massieschool.com for more details.