Despite the growth of Catholicism in Georgia after the American Revolution, African American Catholics did not receive parochial attention until after the Civil War. Missionaries from the Order of St. Benedict served the African Americans, building such churches as St. Benedict the Moor in Savannah, 1875. At the turn of the twenty-first century, the Society of African Missions (SMA) replaced the Benedictines. With additional support from the Sisters of St. Joseph, Sisters of Mercy, and Saint Katherine Drexel's Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, African American parishes, schools, and orphanages proliferated in South Georgia.
However, at the departure of the SMA fathers amidst the Civil Rights era of the 1960-70s, the Savannah Diocese closed several African American churches and schools to encourage integration. Instead, the result was a feeling of displacement and an incursion upon African American Catholic culture. Although nothing can fully replace that sense of loss, this community archive aims to help African American Catholics in the Savannah Diocese restore and preserve their culture. Contributions such as photographs, oral history interviews, and original documents assist in giving black Catholics a voice and story that reaches beyond South Georgia and into succeeding generations.