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About US


Thank you for taking time to read about Uplift Savannah (US), an online guide designed to support the economic empowerment of the African American community in Savannah GA.  According to a February 2015 Black Enterprise online article, African American consumer growth is outpacing the rate among general population by 30%.  The time is ripe for African American entrepreneurs to benefit from this tremendous increase in buying power by offering products and services that we, and the general public use.  Uplift Savannah is designed to increase the visibility of African American-owned enterprises, and address the need for self-help economics. 

Our businesses cannot depend solely on African American consumers, but all Savannhians can make a great contribution to the success of Black businesses which enrich the whole community.  This uplifts us all.  It is our time!



About the Founder








Hello.  My name is JoAnn Robinson James and I am a 70 plus year-old grandmother, former computer programmer and a community activist.  With the assistance of my husband, Jesse, a retired professor, and grown children, we have developed Uplift Savannah for our adopted community, Savannah, GA.  Allow me to tell you my story.

Community service was instilled in me by my mother, Dorothy Jenkins Robinson, at an early age.  My activism began as a young teen when I recruited friends to join the Youth Branch of the NAACP in Ossining, NY, a small town just north of New York City.  So, bringing community together is not new to me.   After graduating from college with a degree in mathematics, I was hired by IBM Corp as a systems programmer.  A few years later, I realized that one of the outcomes of computerization  would be the eventual reduction of people in the workplace. So I decided that, for me, people came before corporate interests.  Thus began my journey into the human (community) service field.  

Fast forward to 2009 when my husband Jesse and I moved to Savannah.  Wanting to give back to the city we now call “home”, I looked at several options and finally realized that we could use an online consumer information and referral service where newcomers such as us could find services and products produced by African Americans, thereby supporting the community. I was encouraged to not only include African American businesses, but also to make information available for Savannah’s many cultural tourists.  My early community involvement has come full-circle – contributing my expertise to benefit Savannah’s African American business community.

WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT.  There is no way we can keep this site accurate and up-to-date without the eyes and ears of the community.   Please join us in uplifting our beloved community of Savannah, GA.

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