Savannah writer, musician, and professor Ja Jahannes died Monday at age 72. Jahannes taught psychology at Savannah State University and helped pioneer the fields of African Psychology and African American Psychology, according to the university. He also composed poetry and theater works often focusing on African-American experiences. Richard Shinhoster is the First Vice President of the Savannah branch of the NAACP. He says among many accomplishments, Jahannes brought world-class theater to Savannah State. "He just believed that the community, that the patrons were deserving of a production that was just par excellence," Shinhoster says. In recent weeks Jahannes had been planning events for later this month - a testament, Shinhoster says, to how he worked. “If you are an artist, that while you work with your hands to make these things happen, you work with your head to think through and detail the performances even before they happen, and you work with your heart to be able to transmit your ideas and your thoughts directly to the person who’s going to be receiving your product,” he says. Adams Funeral Services in Savannah is handling the arrangements.
Click here to read a poem by Jahannes, "My Children Have Never Known Peace."