Exhibit showcases Milledgeville's Black Business District

Milledgeville's Black Business District

Milledgeville is taking a look at some recent history and its once-thriving Black Business District.

For the next week, you can visit an exhibit and take a tour of what locals used to call "The Strip."

Downtown Milledgeville looks a lot different than it used to.

Places like Allen's Market, Griffin's Cleaners, Jones Barbershop,  and more used to thrive on Wayne and McIntosh Streets as part of the Black Business District.

"Come downtown on a Saturday and go to one of the cafes and get a hamburger and a soda, or go to the movies. At that time, we called it the picture show," said Floyd Griffin.

Griffin grew up visiting the shops downtown that were prominent during segregation and Jim Crow times, but when he returned home from college and serving in the military, things were different, but over the years as things changed, the Black Business District wasn't forgotten about.

"Exhibits like the Strip and other and other items we've done here promotes perhaps aspects of the community that have been forgotten by individuals or can be a nice window of engagement to teach new generations about what life was like during the period of segregation and the history of their own community," said Matt Davis.

The Sallie Ellis Davis House at Georgia College is hosting an exhibit titled "The Strip," showing the history of the black business district and how it impacted the Milledgeville community.

On display are phone books from that time, a period painting, a cash register from Allen's Market, and the piece that ties it all together, a creation by artist George Freeman that depicts scenes from the district.

And although that scene is far different the one that's taken its place today, Griffin says he's glad that part of the Milledgeville community is still being shared with others.

"Our young people need to understand the black history and what black people were able to do to help make this city and this county, this state and this country what it is today," Griffin said.

The Strip exhibit will be at the Sallie Ellis Davis House until May 17th. 

For more information on the exhibit at the Sally Ellis Davis House or the tours of The Strip, call Georgia College at 478-445-4545. 

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