Speaking Engagements


Story Books

Althea Sumpter gives talks in a wide variety of settings on the Gullah Geechee culture, the most intact West African group in the United States. She shares stories of growing up Gullah Geechee on St. Helena Island, South Carolina, and describes the way she utilizes digital technology to document her culture.

Documenting the elders of her community and other cultural locations has become her life's calling, following years as an Emmy-nominated media producer and university professor. She is available for public appearances to present her stories about growing up Gullah Geechee.
Topic Areas:
      • A Way Home: How to Research from the Southern United States to a Place of Origin    
      • Gullah Geechee Culture    
      • Ethnography and Digital Research
Multimedia documentation for cultural preservation is the culmination of Althea  Sumpter's many years as a media producer, coupled with her doctoral research in Africana Studies and Humanities.

     • Cultural preservation links anthropology and history to the political context of a people and to  a region. 

     • Modern digital technology is used to capture stories from the elders using minimally intrusive devices,
        enabling the development of digital materials to memorialize their stories.

     • Workshop participants learn to produce interactive media based on collected ethnographic materials,
        resulting in stories that are creative interpretations of a person and of that culture. 

     • Understanding one's personal cultural heritage and its contributions to a larger society forms  a beginning
        point for learning about oneself. Future generations can appreciate the continuity of heritage and the spirit
        of a cultural legacy.
Workshops are available in one-day and three-day formats for individuals or groups. 
    Elementary ethnographic technique
    Introduction to digital documentation 
    Digital preservation and storytelling
    Ethnographic research technique
    Digital documentation utilization
    Developing storytelling project
    Digital preservation process 
Basic Format
 • family photos
 • family stories


Family History Format
  • family photos
  • family stories
  • cultural heritage stories

Family and Culture Format
  • family photos
  • oral history of selected family
  • cultural heritage stories
  • history of origin
A story book using a magazine-style layout can be created using your family photos and oral stories from members of your family. Choose one of three magazine formats:
For the Basic Format, a genealogy of only current family members will be needed.
For the Family History or the Family and Culture formats, a more extensive family tree will be necessary to compile a more complete family story.