Coalition calls for preservation of Aunt Fanny’s Cabin in Smyrna

Smyrna City Hall in article about Smyrna millage rateSmyrna City Hall (photo by Larry Felton Johnson, Licensed under Creative Commons 4.0)

The Coalition to Save Aunt Fanny’s Cabin issued the following press release:

On Monday, January 31st at 3 p.m., the Coalition to Save Aunt Fanny’s Cabin along with the Cobb County NAACP will gather at 2875 Atlanta Road SE, Smyrna, Ga. (Aunt Fanny’s Cabin) to hold a press conference calling upon the Mayor of Smyrna to save Aunt Fanny’s Cabin in its current location and preserve the late Fanny Williams Legacy.

On Tuesday, February 1st, the first of Black History Month, the city of Smyrna will determine the fate of the historic “Sharecropper” home turned restaurant, Aunt Fanny’s Cabin where guests included Doris Day, Liberace, Rev. Billy Graham and former president Jimmy Carter to name a few. “Aunt Fanny’s Cabin is not only a part of Smyrna’s history, but the history of African Americans in Smyrna whose history should be preserved to inspire, educate and guide our communities’ reconciliation and healing process” states former Smyrna City Councilwoman, Maryline Blackburn.

Fanny Williams, the woman in which Aunt Fanny’s Cabin is named, had significant accomplishments, one of which included contributing and fundraising for the first Black Hospital in Cobb County know as the Cobb Cooperative. Carolyn Sherman of Smyrna shares, “Saving Aunt Fanny’s Cabin is our way of acknowledging and honoring this amazing lady’s contribution to the betterment of our society.”

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While it is true that there are mixed emotions about Smyrna’s Aunt Fanny’s Cabin, Smyrna resident, Pat Burns believes “Fanny Williams’s proud strength represents the best of Smyrna’s people. The old sharecroppers’ cabin remains the last one in Smyrna. Both Survived an era intertwined by divergent paths. Ms. Williams’ bold community contributions set a stage for the civil rights movement while the cabin’s restaurant withered. Their storied history cannot be separated but united as a central location for reconciliation and peace. Both Fanny Williams and cabin that once misappropriated her name are SMYRNA.”

Saving Aunt Fanny’s Cabin returns her voice to a stage where hers can be heard. Shaun Martin, a Black female Architect finds it painful to see Smyrna so strident in taking a “cancel culture” approach to recognizing its own history. Preserving buildings, like this sharecropper’s home, is a more noble approach allowing future generations the ability to physical experience space and time in ways that no history book or plaque can.

Karen Shockley, owner of Get Out The Whey shares “as a Smyrna resident and African American woman I am disappointed that we are even having such a discussion during a time celebrating the contributions of black historians.”

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