Interview with initiative founder Lauri Lyons 

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Rest with Honor Savannah Logo, courtesy of Lauri Lyons

We at the Savannah African Art Museum support the Rest with Honor Savannah Initiative. This initiative is centered around Savannah’s African/Negro Burial Grounds located at Calhoun & Whitfield Squares, which were named after two strong advocates of Slavery.

We believe that these squares should be acknowledged as a historical burial ground and the resting place for these ancestors. We support that these squares should be acknowledged and renamed to as a way of honoring those who rest on these sacred grounds.

Below see our interview with the Rest with Honor Initiative Founder, Lauri Lyons, and the Museum's Education and Community Outreach Liaison, Lisa Jackson.

Interview between the Museum's Education and Community Outreach Liaison, Lisa Jackson,

and Rest with Honor Initiative Founder, Lauri Lyons.

About the Initiative


Rest With Honor is a not-for-profit organization that merges communities, technology, and culture for the purpose of social justice and cultural preservation. Lauri Lyons is the Executive Director.

For over 20 years Lauri's work has explored the influence of American culture and the African Diaspora, within a global framework. She is the author of two acclaimed books; Flag: An American Story (2001), Flag International (2008), and the photographer for the book INSPIRATION: Profiles of Black Women Changing Our World (2012).

Lauri Lyons, Founder of the Rest With Honor Initiative

Lauri Lyons is also the Publisher & Editor in Chief of Nomads Magazine and a contributing writer for The Huffington Post. Lauri has served as a faculty member and guest lecturer for many institutions including the International Center of Photography, New School for Social Research and the Rhode Island School of Design. Her work has been widely exhibited and published.

Rest with Honor Savannah, is a historical social justice initiative working to commemorate an unmarked colonial 'Negro / African Burying Ground' located in the center of Savannah, Georgia. The burial ground was designated in 1763 and is now 258 years old. 

In 1732 Georgia was founded as a "no slavery" colony. In 1751 Georgia overturned its ban on slavery and began importing enslaved labor from West Africa and the Caribbean. The plantations and the enslaved people that worked on them created the foundation of the American economy.

Additional slave labor included African-Americans who were owned by the City of Savannah or “rented out" by their Master. “Free” people of color were required by law to work for the City one day a week for free. 

From 1763 - 1850 the Negro / African Burial Ground was the only place Black people were legally allowed to be buried in Savannah.

In 1850 the City of Sav