Liberty County’s African American Heritage Itinerary
Liberty County has a wealth of history that has positively impacted African American history in the south. We have laid out an African American heritage itinerary that emphasizes the history and culture of Liberty County, we hope you enjoy!
The former school, which was founded by the American Missionary Society soon after the Civil War to educate African-Americans, operated until 1940 and then became a cooperative to help area residents with farming, economic education and household issues. Museum docent Maurice Bacon enjoys telling the history of Dorchester Academy and the people who made the arduous journey from slavery to the fight for education and equal rights.
Dorchester Academy’s most recent historical role was as a site for civil rights activities. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. planned his campaign to integrate Birmingham during meetings there in the mid-1960’s. The room where he stayed has been preserved and is available to view. Read more about the historical significance of Dorchester Academy.
Location: 8787 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Midway
Hours: Re-Opening June 2021
Admission: No Fee, Donations Welcome
Geechee Kunda Cultural Center
Geechee Kunda is located on lands where the rice, cotton and indigo producing Retreat Plantation once stood. The center was created as a means of contributing efforts to preserve and perpetuate the knowledge of important African cultural elements in the United States. Geechee Kunda Cultural Center hosts performances, music, oral history lessons and arts & crafts demonstrations that are open to the public. Read more about the history of Geechee Kunda.
Location: 622 Ways Temple Road in Riceboro
Hours: Open only during special event hours
Admission: Events have a cost for general admission. Group tours and special requests please call for details.
Historic Baptismal Trail
For almost 100 years this site was an active holy place where the ancestors of the local Geechee communities baptized new members into their faith. Oral and written church history from the surviving descendants of the First African Baptist Church indicate that as early as the 1840s this site was used as a place where ritual Christian baptism was performed by leaders of a congregation of enslaved people.
The site now features a boardwalk, benches and picnic tables as well as interpretive signage regarding the surrounding natural habitat and the historical significance of the site. Read more about the history of the Historic Baptismal Trail.
Location: 8808 E. B. Cooper Highway in Riceboro
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am to 5:00pm and Sat & Sun 9:00am-5:00pm
Admission: No fee. Tours are self-guided