The late Dr. Abigail H. Jordan (1925-2019), who led the decade-long battle to erect the African-American Family Monument in Savannah, Georgia, and who in 1991 founded the Consortium of Doctors, was duly honored in the city July 25-28, 2019, with the unveiling of a new plaque for the monument and other noted events celebrating her legacy.
Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach, along with Dr. Jordan's son, Atlanta businessman Ken Jordan, and members of the Consortium of Doctors all participated in the historic event. Mr. Jordan noted the new plaque corrected the previous omission not only of his mother's name, but that of sculptress Dorothy Spradley, also present for the unveiling.
From the inscription: "Educator, Leaders, Trailblazer, and community activist Dr. Jordan's vision, tenacity, and financial contributions were the driving force that ensured the Savannah Riverfront was the home of the first statue in Savannah that honors African Americans. The Consortium of Doctors, Ltd, an organization that Dr. Jordan founded in 1991, made significant contributions to this effort. Sculptress: Dorothy Spradley. This plaque unveiled July 26, 2019." (Photograph by Aberjhani)
The occasion marked the Consortium's 28th conference anniversary. A television cameraman and crowd of excited onlookers recorded videos, took photographs, and applauded as the covering was removed from the new plaque.
Artwork Added ‘Strong Sense’ of Jordan’s Presence to Event
One key component to the weekend of festivities was the artwork by Aberjhani titled "Historic Triumph of Dr. Abigail Jordan," a multimedia composition which includes original interpretations of images of Abigail H. Jordan and the African-American Monument combined with original abstract art. The piece was used on large framable cards, a poster, a tapestry draping the speaker’s podium at the Bouquet of Doctors banquet in the DeSoto Hotel, and on the cover of the banquet program. The artwork, according to various attendees, evoked a strong sense of Dr. Jordan's spiritual presence.
"As many people know already, Dr. Jordan is a principal subject of the story titled "The Bridge and the Monument: A Tale of Two Legacies," published in Dreams of the Immortal City Savannah," said Aberjhani. "It was my great honor and pleasure to count myself among the foot soldiers who assisted her however we could when completing preparations for the dedication of the African-American Monument in 2002. I'm happy to see that honor extended to this very special moment."
In addition to the unveiling of the new plaque and the Bouquet of Doctors Banquet (for induction of new Consortium members), conference events included a Think Tank session held at the historic First African Baptist Church and a Youth Summit at Savannah's famous Beach Institute. Among the attendees at the banquet was former Savannah mayor Edna Jackson, who was presented with a special award.
For more information on the Consortium of Doctors please visit: https://www.consortiumofdoctors.com/
Bright Skylark News Notes
The word accountable has a friendlier ring to it when applied to someone other than oneself. Used in a statement such as, “Today I will hold myself accountable for making a positive difference in the world,” it feels more nakedly ominous than courageous or inspiring.
Simply put, it means acceptance of responsibility for a specific action or desired outcome. That can be a good or bad thing depending on motives and results involved. In the example at hand, the motive is pursuit of social justice and the desired result is a long-sought correction of history.
400 Girl Scouts and House Resolution 1054
The concept of accountability has my full attention at present because of the admirable way some 400 Girl Scouts made their way to the Georgia State capital to urge lawmakers to remove the late white supremacist Eugene Talmadge’s name from the impressive bridge spanning the Savannah River between the city and Hutchison Island, and replace it with that of their founder: Juliette Gordon Low. With the scouts symbolically and strategically at this side, Rep. Ron Stephens (R-GA) on February 6, 2018, introduced House Resolution 1054: “A RESOLUTION honoring the life of Ms. Juliette Gordon Low and dedicating a bridge in her memory; and for other purposes.”
Joining Stephens, a republican, on the bill’s sponsorship were five democrats: Rep. Gloria Frazier, Rep. Carl Gilliard, Rep. Mickey Stephens, Rep. Al Williams, and Rep. Teri Anulewicz.
The Girl Scouts’ highly-commendable move won them much applause across the nation. It also prompted questions concerning why African-American leaders and community members in Savannah and throughout Georgia have done so little to protest the current name of the bridge or have it changed. Why, for example, in a city famous for its majority-black population, was the African-American presence in the audience at the historic Symposium to Rename the Talmadge Bridge held at the Savannah Theater on September 5, 2017, so overwhelmingly under-represented? As in clearly, visibly, a lot less than half the attendees?