Althea Sumpter is a researcher and scholar who uses her expertise as an ethnographer to document cultures and preserve the Southern story of the United States. With her native Gullah Geechee culture as a prototype collecting the oral histories of elders, she teaches ways to research the cultural history within a community, then how to use documentation technology to memorialize and preserve the stories of a community for future generations.  She presents talks and workshops on documenting cultural history for others wanting to preserve stories in their own community or the cultural story of a family.

 Researcher  |  Scholar  Ethnographer

CV Available upon Request


  • Doctor of Arts, Clark Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA
  • Certificate in Multimedia, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
  • Master of Media Arts, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Bachelor of Media Arts, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
  • Lillian C. Lynch Citation, Athens Chapter of the Links. Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
  • Judith Weller Harvey Scholar, Guilford College, Greensboro, NC
  • Emmy Nomination, National Academy of Television Arts and Science, Southeast Chapter

Photo: Ian Frank

We are still connected to our cultural past. Beyond the current generation, that link may be broken forever. 


Lillian C. Lynch Citation | 2017 Recipient 
FEB 24, 2017
Althea was the 2017 recipient of the Lillian C. Lynch Citation, which honors an African American leader who has made a significant contributions to African American cultural education and service. The Lynch Citation -- named for the charter member of the Athens chapter of The Links, Incorporated -- is sponsored by the Friends of the Georgia Museum of Art. The event took place at the Georgia Museum of Art on the UGA campus. The award was given by Dale Couch, curator of decorative arts and long-time friend.            DOWNLOAD RESPONSE

Seventh Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts
FEB 1, 2014
Symposium presentation:
"The Materiality of the Gullah Geechee Culture: The kitchen in the Heart of the Story"
The Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts is the second largest event of its kind on the East Coast. The publication of the symposium proceedings includes the papers delivered during the semi-annual event.Althea's presentation is available for DOWNLOAD.
Symposium publication
Connections: Georgia in the World: The Seventh Henry D. Green Symposium of the Decorative Arts
Preserving the Gullah Geechee Culture: WABE segment
FEB 12, 2014
In 2007, Congress authorized the creation of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor -- the first of its kind in the United States. Althea Sumpter is a founding member and past chair of the federal commission whose mission includes preservation of the remnants of the culture that stretches from north of Wilmington, North Carolina, south along the South Carolina and Georgia coasts, into northern Florida.  She spoke with WABE’s Steve Goss.


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