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Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life?: The People of Johns Island South Carolina-Their Faces, Their Words, and Their Songs / Edition 2

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Overview

Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life? presents an oral, musical, and photographic record of the venerable Gullah culture in modern times. With roots stretching back to their slave forebears, the Johns Islanders and their folk traditions are a vital link between black Americans and their African and Caribbean ancestors.

When first published in 1966, this book conveyed islanders' trepidation and jubilation upon the arrival of the civil rights movement to their isolated home. In this edition, which is updated through the late 1980s, the stories and songs of an older day blend with the voices of an empowered younger generation determined to fight the overdevelopment of their land by resort builders.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A detailed record of a way of life that is falling victim to the ravages of time."—Library Journal

"The authors have richly captured not only the traditional warmth, folk wisdom, and spirit of the Johns Islanders, but also the courage with which they prepare to meet the future."—New York Times Book Review

"There is no part of the United States where black people developed or preserved a richer or more authentic cultural life. . . . This is still a wonderful book that conveys some of the joy and solemnity of the old sea island life. . . . That way of life is now giving over to the well-intentioned arts of progress, but as long as their faith endures, they will still be a people."—Chronicles of Culture

"The book lets the islanders speak for themselves about their culture, where they have been and where thay are going. And it is elegant. . . . It is a must read for serious students of southern history, culture, and social change."—Knoxville News-Sentinel

Library Journal
This volume brings up to date the story of blacks on a sea island begun in the first edition published over 20 years ago ( LJ 5/15/67). The author and his wife lived on Johns Island for two years, 1963-65, collecting folk songs (many of which are included) and interviewing the inhabitants. They have continued to return since then. The result is a detailed record of a way of life that is falling victim to the ravages of time.-- MR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820316437
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Series: Brown Thrasher Books Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 268
  • Product dimensions: 8.38 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.58 (d)

Meet the Author

Guy and Candie Carawan are educators, writers, musicians, and collectors who are dedicated to preserving the culture of the South and fighting for the civil rights of its common people. Based at the Highlander Research and Education Center in New Market, Tennessee, for more than thirty years, the Carawans have served as consultants to the public television productions of "Eyes on the Prize" and "History of the Song 'We Shall Overcome.'" Their books include Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life?, Voices from the Mountains (both Georgia), We Shall Overcome, and Freedom Is a Constant Struggle.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
1 Been in the Storm So Long: Days Past 1
2 The Storm Is Passing Over: The Present 34
3 All Things Are Possible If You Only Believe: Meeting at Moving Star Hall 64
4 Talkin' 'Bout a Good Time: Jokey Times 94
5 Down on Me: Race Relations 118
6 Ain't You Got a Right to the Tree of Life? Progress on Johns Island 138
7 Keep Your Eyes on the Prize: The Sea Islands in 1988 173
8 We Will Overcome: Laying the Groundwork in the 1950s 197
9 Honey in the Rock: Passing on the Cultural Traditions 211
Afterword 235
Bibliography 237
Photograph Identifications and Credits 240
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