Book Althea Sumpter for public
    appearances to present her stories
    on growing up Gullah Geechee.  She
    also shares her techniques for
    documenting  and preserving
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Gullah Geechee elders with  knowledge
   of the cultural past are  dying out. Elders       from  the Coosawhatchie Senior Center         asked Althea to preserve their stories of         growing  up surrounded by  rice  fields.
   One elder told her:  "I did not grow up
   during slavery time,   but I  know hard

 Photo: Ian Frank

    Photo: Althea Sumpter






   Keith E. Baird, Ph.D. (1923 - 2017)  left  
   behind a legacy of vital research. He
   entrusted her to continue his work on
   racialism, ethnicity and culture. Baird's
   accomplishments have been read into
   the U. S. Congressional Record.   

Writing Journal

Schooled by the Elders: Things They Don't Tell Just Anybody

Growing Up Gullah . . . and Other Southern Tales

Suggested Links

                                                       "The ghosts are dying" — my grandmother's words to describe the link with
                                                               those who have come before. Linking with the past is what I felt I was doing when an
                                                               elder cousin asked for me to sit with her to hear more stories, and then she
                                                               told me about her grandfather who "came over in the boat." I was holding the hands
                                                               of a cousin who learned about life from an enslaved African. She died a few
                                                               weeks later — the link to that ghost, broken.     
                                                        My uncle would tell me to make sure I to bring my recorder when I drove
                                                                             down to the island from Atlanta so we could have family time. The relatives
                                                                             on St. Helena Island got used to seeing me drag my research field kit along
                                                                             every time I came home. Then I would pull out an audio recorder, video camera
                                                                             or my still camera and document every part of life on the island. They would
                                                                             tell me stories.       
                                                                                                                                                                                Page Coming Soon
         Review suggested non-fiction and fiction books. Explore websites on current
         issues of the Southern story.  See what I am reading for insights and for fun.