28 Dec Golden Blocks Project
The Laney Museum and the Greater Augusta Arts Council hosts an opening ceremony for The Golden Blocks Project on Saturday, November 9th at A.R. Johnson’s Lecture Hall. The program included remarks from community leaders and performances by local artists. The Golden Blocks Project artists’ works were unveiled. The artists included Audrey Sala Adenike Jeter Allen (mural and new musical composition), Kristie Robin Johnson (poetry), Ashley Gray (ceramic tile map installation), and Sara Cooks (Golden Blocks markers). A walking tour of the Golden Blocks and reception and tour at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History followed. A new Walking Tour Map of the Golden Blocks was unveiled. A link to the App can be found on the Laney Museum’s website on the Golden Blocks page.
Named the Golden Blocks Project, in reference to the historic nickname of the corridor of business and industry located on or near Campbell and Gwinnett Streets, this endeavor will create new public art that connects us with the historical and cultural signiﬁcance of these areas. Today, Campbell and Gwinnett Streets are James Brown and Laney-Walker Boulevards. During the time of segregation, the area nicknamed the Golden Blocks was the heart of Augusta’s black business community. Federal “Red Line” policies prevented citizens from receiving bank mortgages within certain areas that were predominantly non-white populations, and businesses elsewhere in the city were allowed to discriminate against black patrons due to Jim Crow era laws. In the Laney Walker and Bethlehem neighborhoods, black-owned banks, insurance companies, theaters and other businesses worked to oﬀset this discrimination and thrived, creating a strong sense of community.
This project is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Greater Augusta Arts Council, as well as funding from City of Augusta Housing & Community Development and a Georgia Humanities Grant.