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Author Cooper, Melissa L., author

Title Making Gullah : a history of Sapelo Islanders, race, and the American imagination / Melissa L. Cooper
Published Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2017]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (292 pages) : illustrations
Series The John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture
John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture.
Contents The misremembered past -- From wild savages to beloved primitives: Gullah folk take center stage -- The 1920s and 1930s voodoo craze: African survivals in American popular culture and the ivory tower -- Hunting survivals: W. Robert Moore, Lydia Parrish, and Lorenzo D. Turner discover Gullah folk on Sapelo Island -- Drums and shadows: the Federal Writers' Project, Sapelo Islanders, and the specter of African superstitions on Georgia's coast -- Reworking roots: Black women writers, Sapelo interviews in Drums and shadows, and the making of a new Gullah folk -- Gone but not forgotten: Sapelo's vanishing folk and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor -- From African survivals to the fight for survival
Summary "During the 1920s and 1930s, anthropologists and folklorists became obsessed with uncovering connections between African Americans and their African roots. At the same time, popular print media and artistic productions tapped the new appeal of black folk life, highlighting African-styled voodoo as an essential element of black folk culture. A number of researchers converged on one site in particular, Sapelo Island, Georgia, to seek support for their theories about "African survivals," bringing with them a curious mix of both influences. The legacy of that body of research is the area's contemporary identification as a Gullah community. This wide-ranging history upends a long tradition of scrutinizing the Low Country blacks of Sapelo Island by refocusing the observational lens on those who studied them. Cooper uses a wide variety of sources to unmask the connections between the rise of the social sciences, the voodoo craze during the interwar years, the black studies movement, and black land loss and land struggles in coastal black communities in the Low Country. What emerges is a fascinating examination of Gullah people's heritage, and how it was reimagined and transformed to serve vastly divergent ends over the decades."--Publisher's description
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Print version record
Subject African Americans -- Georgia -- Sapelo Island -- History.
Gullahs -- Georgia -- Sapelo Island.
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.
Genre/Form History.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 1469632691 (electronic bk.)
1469632705 (electronic bk.)
9781469632698 (electronic bk.)
9781469632704 (electronic bk.)
(hardcover ;) (alk. paper)
(paperback ;) (alk. paper)
(hardcover ;) (alk. paper)
(paperback ;) (alk. paper)