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‘Bulloch Bears Witness’ event set for Wednesday on GS campus

The Statesboro-Bulloch Remembrance Coalition invites the public to attend “Bulloch Bears Witness: Music, Memory, and Moving Forward” at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

The event will be held at Georgia Southern University’s Carter Recital Hall in the Foy Fine Arts Building and is free to the public. It will be an evening of song and conversation to examine the local legacies of racial terror and to envision remembrance projects.

The evening will feature a traditional call and response with the audience led by Pastor Frankie Owens and Rev. Jean Owens.

American songs of the early 1900s will be performed by American Idol finalist Gazzie White of Statesboro, accompanied by Deven White on piano, and by blues guitarist Dan Larkin.

A panel discussion will be moderated by Lisa Costello, an expert in traumatic memory and history, and will include Statesboro native and high school English teacher Enola Moseley, Mayor Jonathan McCollar, Political Scientist Patrick Novotny, and Historian Chris Caplinger.

Attorneys Francys Johnson and Ressie Fuller, among others, will discuss the Coalition's special projects and discuss the history and legacies of racial terror and injustice in Bulloch County, from slavery to mass incarceration.

The Statesboro-Bulloch Remembrance Coalition is a group of Bulloch County community members who are committed to memorializing the victims of local lynchings and fostering meaningful dialogue about race and justice. The Coalition has partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative, founded by Bryan Stevenson, author of the book “Just Mercy.”

Their work is inspired by the visits of many members to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in Montgomery, Alabama.

Coalition Co-Chair Patrick Novotny, a political scientist in Statesboro, said the group’s work acknowledges the histories of lynching in Bulloch County, and “these stories are not easy to tell.”

He said he believes “Bulloch Bears Witness” is a way to expand the conversation about past and present racial terror through “poetry, prayers, sermons, and songs that connect our voices across the generations.”

Coalition Co-Chair and community organizer Adrianne McCollar agreed.

“There is still so much history to be made,” she said. “As we write these next chapters, I want those coming behind us to see that we faced the wrongdoing of our past and that we recognize the impacts that our past actions have on us today. I want the next generation to see that we have learned from it, and that we worked to correct it.” For more information, please contact the co-chairs of the event at:

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