Content Research

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 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. Althea is available for university, school or community appearances, as well as for public forums and class presentations.  
Topic Areas:
  • Gullah Geechee culture
  • Documentary Production and Digital Media Technology
  • Ethnography and Digital Research
Digital media production, humanities, documentation for cultural preservation -- the three facets of Althea Sumpter's approach to storytelling. They require the skill to research, develop and implement components that produce the best outcome. The history and culture of any topic or character, whether fiction or non-fiction, must also be incorporated.
Althea Sumpter offers her knowledge of content research on non-fiction and fiction story development. Her motto of "before you write, do the research" is the basis for accuracy in storytelling.
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 is a multifaceted endeavor. It links anthropological and historical connections to the political context of a people or a region. Modern digital technology is well-suited to capturing unguarded stories from the elders using minimally intrusive devices, enabling the development of digital materials with far-reaching potential to memorialize the stories of a fading generation.
Althea offers workshops that integrate traditional oral history techniques with that documentation technology. Participants learn to produce interactive media based on ethnographic materials, resulting in stories that are creative interpretations of persons or cultures. 
Each person, especially in the United States, represents an ethnic or cultural community. Understanding one's personal heritage and its contributions to a larger society forms a beginning point for learning about oneself. Participants who learn how to document their ethnicity or their culture for preservation can help future generations appreciate the continuity of heritage and the spirit of a cultural legacy.
Workshops are available in one-day and three-day formats. 
    Elementary ethnographic technique
    Introduction to digital documentation 
    Digital preservation and storytelling
    Ethnographic research technique
    Digital documentation utilization
    Developing storytelling project
    Digital preservation process