Passing on the importance of knowing your heritage and preserving it were key points for speakers at the annual Willow Hill Heritage Festival, held Sept. 2 in Portal.
The event was held at the site of the former Willow Hill School, opened by former slaves in 1874. The school remained open for 125 years, longer than any other school in Bulloch County.
Dr. Alvin Jackson, of Savannah, spoke to attendees, stressing that there is a need for people to preserve family records, so that family histories can be saved.
"This is the tragedy of slavery," he said. "If you don't study it (family history), you're going to lose that."
Eugene Lenes of Metter also spoke. He encouraged the young people present to take more interest in their family legacies.
"In order to respect your history, you have to love your history, which means you have to take care of it," he said.