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City partnering to host free lecture on the Legacy of Mamie George Williams
SAVANNAH (Oct. 21) – The City of Savannah Municipal Archives is partnering with award-winning author and historian Velma Maia Thomas to present “Mamie George Williams: Getting Everything of Value out it for the Race,” Wednesday, Nov. 2, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, 10 E Oglethorpe Ave.
Mamie Williams, a Savannah native, captured national headlines in 1924 when she was appointed the first woman to represent Georgia at the Republican National Convention and became the first African American woman to serve on the Republican National Committee. In addition, Williams’ work as a suffragist, community leader, and supporter of the early division of African American Girl Scouts garnered her state-wide recognition.
Velma Maia Thomas is a public historian and the author of several nonfiction books, including the award-winning interactive Lest We Forget: The Passage from Africa to Slavery and Emancipation (Random House, 1997), now a collector’s item. Additional books in her interactive series are Freedom’s Children and We Shall Not Be Moved, and a book and CD entitled No Man Can Hinder Me.
Velma served as manager of the Shrine of the Black Madonna Cultural Center and Bookstore in Atlanta from 1987 to 2000, where she created the nationally acclaimed Black Holocaust Exhibit, a collection of original documents on slavery and resistance in America. In early 2012, Velma was selected as a subject expert for the PBS documentary, Underground Railroad: The William Still Story, which continues to air nationally.
Her work, The Odd Fellow City: The Promise of a Leading Black Town, was published in the 2012 edition of the Journal of the Georgia Association of Historians. Velma’s research, Your Advertisement Troubles Me: Atlanta’s Gold Dust Twins, has been published online, and an interview with her aired on WABE in 2015. Her latest work, Getting Everything of Value out it for the Race, explores the contributions of Mamie George Williams (1872- 1951), once the highest-ranking Republican leader in Georgia.