Nancy Tinker of Thomasville Landmarks will offer a walking tour of the downtown (Broad Street) and the former African American business district on Jackson Street highlighting sites of memory that have been established (plaques marking the site of former businesses) and those that are absent (no memorial to the site of the 1930 lynching). Prior to lunch we will visit City Hall for a brief presentation by Bonnie Hayes and Sherri Cain of the Office of Downtown and Tourism Development, City of Thomasville. They will discuss the city’s efforts to commemorate the history of The Bottoms and create greater public awareness among the community and visitors.
Attendees will be encouraged to have lunch at the Plaza Restaurant and Oyster Bar, the oldest restaurant in the State of Georgia, located downtown at 217 North Broad. Although ownership has changed several times, this eatery has been in continuous operation since 1916. During lunch, Gregory Mixon and Kurt Piehler will discuss the day’s reading in regard to racial violence.
800 West Madison Street, Thomasville
Kurt Piehler offers a brief discussion of the role of cemeteries to not only mourn the dead, but also as sites of historical memory.
The attendees will be accompanied by Nancy Tinker of Thomasville Landmarks, who will speak briefly about each church.
515 Oak Street, Thomasville
1122 Lester Street, Thomasville
110 W. Calhoun Street, Thomasville
Dr. Jones will examine the vital role of Black churches in the life of the African American community. The church served as one of the few institutions in which African Americans could exercise a high degree of autonomy over their own affairs during the Jim Crow era. Church governance afforded an opportunity to empower men and women marginalized in mainstream politics. Dr. Jones will explore the significant role of Black churches in promoting educational opportunities by highlighting the role the black church in Thomasville played in the founding of the Allen Normal and Industrial School that operatedin Thomasville from 1885 to 1933. Her talk will also consider the early career of the civil rights leader Andrew Young, who served as pastor of the Bethany Congregation Church in Thomasville in the 1950s.
Workshop Concludes For the Day