Coming Through: Voices of a South Carolina Gullah Community from WPA Oral Histories

Coming Through: Voices of a South Carolina Gullah Community from WPA Oral Histories

by Genevieve W. Chandler
     
 

ISBN-10: 1570037213

ISBN-13: 9781570037214

Pub. Date: 04/28/2008

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press

Coming Through marks the first complete publication of these interviews with former slaves and their descendants living in the Waccamaw Neck region of South Carolina as collected by Genevieve W. Chandler as part of the WPA Federal Writers Project. Between 1936 and 1938 Chandler interviewed more than one hundred individuals in and around All Saints Parish, a portion of

Overview

Coming Through marks the first complete publication of these interviews with former slaves and their descendants living in the Waccamaw Neck region of South Carolina as collected by Genevieve W. Chandler as part of the WPA Federal Writers Project. Between 1936 and 1938 Chandler interviewed more than one hundred individuals in and around All Saints Parish, a portion of Horry and Georgetown counties located between the Waccamaw River and the Atlantic Ocean. Her subjects spoke freely with her on topics ranging from slave punishment to folk medicine, from conditions in the Jim Crow South to the exploits of Brer Rabbit.
A teacher, artist, writer, and later museum curator, Chandler had no formal training as an oral historian or folklorist, yet the sophistication of her work as documented here anticipates developments in these fields of study a generation later. Her detailed descriptions add social context to folktales, and her careful and systematic renderings of the Gullah language have since been praised as foundational work by Creole linguists. Chandler's Gullah-speaking African American informants range in age from the 9-year-old George Kato Singleton to 104-year-old Welcome Bees. A biography of each subject accompanies the interviews. Collectively these interviews form an intimate portrait of a fascinating subculture of the Carolina coast and the Sea Islands as shared with a remarkable woman who has special access to converse with the people of this traditionally insular world. Moreover they provide an unparalleled firsthand account of the African American experience in South Carolina in the words of those who lived it.
The volume is edited by Chandler's daughter, Genevieve C.Peterkin, and two scholars, Kincaid Mills and Aaron McCollough. The three have carefully established the texts of the interviews in a manner that highlights Chandler's skills as a field linguist and have supplemented the texts with revealing documentation. The collection is enhanced with a foreword by Charles W. Joyner, Burroughs Distinguished Professor of History at Coastal Carolina University; appendixes respecting the WPA project and the nuances of Gullah language and culture; and photographs of the subjects taken by renowned photographer Bayard Wootten-many published here for the first time.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781570037214
Publisher:
University of South Carolina Press
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
426,471
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents


List of Illustrations     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Foreword: Something More Precious: Genevieve Willcox Chandler and Carolina Folk Culture     xi
Introduction     xvii
Welcome Bees     1
Will Bees     11
Hagar Brown     13
Louisa Brown     37
Sam Brown     40
Margaret Bryant (Granddaughter)     42
Margaret Bryant (Grandmother)     44
Reverend Albert and Ella Carolina     49
Martha Cox     56
Will Deas     58
Ellen Godfrey     61
Matthew Grant     70
Loney "Noonie" Heywood     73
Mariah Heywood     76
Monday Samson Holmes     85
Ben and Stella Horry     88
Bobbitt Horry     113
Alex Johnson     117
Andrew Keith     119
Addie Knox     121
Lillie Knox     125
Minnie Ladson Knox     198
Richard Knox     205
Thelma Knox     236
Zackie Knox     238
Cinchy Lance     266
Gabe Lance     274
Mike Maybank     276
JimMoody     280
William Oliver     283
Maude Esther Lee Pickett     287
Reverend Aaron Pinnacle     290
Fred Poinsette     299
Carrie Pyatt     301
Hackless Riley     303
Sabe Rutledge     308
John Simmons     318
Reverend Cato Singleton     320
Claude Singleton     326
George Kato Singleton     328
Boss Skinner     332
Ella Small     335
Lewis Small     339
Liza Brown Small     341
Rebecca Washington     345
Lula White     348
Willis Williams     352
Martha Wright     356
Appendixes
Memo from Mabel Montgomery     359
Memo from Folklore Department     363
Memo from Henry Alsberg     365
Second Memo from Henry Alsberg     367
Index     375
About the Authors     392

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