LEARN MORE about the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. with Which Way Savannah.
The Which Way Savannah Campaign hosts “Plundering the Dream, Hiding the Nightmare: A Revealing Look at How King’s Legacy Has Been Re-shaped and Sold Out” on Jan. 25 at Sulfur Studios.
The event will feature an appearance by Bennie Mitchell, Jr., in conversation about his new film “All Is Well,” a report from Indigenous Voices and Laura Shadley, Lillian Grant-Baptiste with Reflections and Stories of Freedom and Justice, and a Drumfolk jam with percussionist David Pleasant featuring freedom and protest songs.
Which Way Savannah was founded by Pleasant as a way to have all stories in Savannah represented, not just that of the Confederacy and colonialism.
“Which Way Savannah is more like a campaign to include escape, rebellion and freedom narratives related to Indian or African-American Gullah Geechee culture,” says Pleasant. “It should be in the forefront of the city’s narrative. I founded the movement with the idea that we would aggregate people who would be interested in making that happen.”
Which Way Savannah’s motto is, “To replace oligarchy, colonialism and the Confederacy with escape, rebellion and freedom as leading narratives of the region,” and Pleasant believes strongly in the inclusion of all stories in Savannah’s narrative.
“I appreciate history, science and art—that’s my background,” Pleasant shares. “Erasing any history, I don’t necessarily agree with, but making sure that everybody has a place at the table in terms of having a dynamic and interesting dialogue about what those histories are.”
A true griot and celebrated performing artist, Pleasant has worked hard to bring the important discussions to the forefront.
“When I bring what I do, it’s not about having a good time,” says Pleasant. “I’m talking about escape, rebellion and freedom, which is tied to Drumfolk culture and it’s not for entertainment. It’s actual culture. Even in the broader sense in the country as a pushback on culture—things that were actually multicultural things, not just a flaky thing where you have different groups and at the end, white people are still in control.”
Friday’s event will be the perfect chance for interested citizens to engage in meaningful dialogue about Savannah’s history.
“My push is to do history, give history, promote science, history, arts and culture,” says Pleasant, “and be respectful of the people who suffered, lived through, and died for their rights. The way people celebrate the military in Savannah, people who suffered for this country, it wouldn’t be the military. And we can go to the books for that. It would be black and native people. Let’s have that real discussion. We have all these prearranged narratives. There’s Martin Luther King, Jr., militarism, poverty, racism. Let’s open up those kinds of dialogues and discussions instead of people going out and looking for a party.”