Gullah Kinfolk

 

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The Gullah Kinfolk are the most exciting musical sensation ever to come from the South Carolina Sea Islands.

Virtually all related, the closeness of this dynamic group is apparent from the first song. Audiences nationwide have been mesmerized by their unique style, memorable performances and uplifting renditions of their historical repertoire.

 

The group was formed by Anita Singleton-Prather, best known for her beloved character Aunt Pearlie Sue, in an effort to preserve Gullah history and the Gullah dialect. A performance by the Gullah Kinfolk is a rare treat that will be remembered for a lifetime.

The Gullah Kinfolk have headlined at dozens of music and cultural festivals. Performances can be customized for any occasion or function, with as few or as many performers as you would like.

 

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Veronica Gerald

 

Veronica Davis Gerald is a professor of English at Coastal Carolina University, a Gullah Geechee Heritage Commissioner and author of The Ultimate Gullah Cookbook.

Lectures, performances and work shops are designed to educate along with entertaining storytelling.  They can be used in church programs and celebrations, class rooms, community programs, workshops, conferences, festivals, family reuinions, meetings,  or any event in need of  an education component. Presentations can be adapted  for age groups from elementary to graduate and beyond. 

Popular selected topics:

  • “Miss Addie Mae Goback.”  Fictional, one-woman performance with 80-year old woman telling stories from the lives of Gullah slaves and their children
  • “Hants, Hags and Plat-Eyes.” A haunting blend of stories, supernatural lore and facts from the South Carolina Lowcountry
  • “When Rice was King.” Traces the origins and history of rice cultivation in America and its impact on the Gullah people
  • “Still Tongue Mek ah Wise Head.”  Discusses Gullah women as history/culture bearers and story tellers
  • “All Shut-eye ain’ Sleep.”  Burial customs and homegoing practices in the South Carolina Lowcountry.
  • “All Other Ground is Sinking Sand.”  The role of religion and spirituality in African American Culture
  • “Gullah een da White House?”  Michele Obama and her roots in Gullah culture

 

Veronica was born in Mullins, South Carolina, a descendant of African slaves brought to the Brookgreen and Longwood Rice Plantations in Georgetown County from the grain coast of West Africa in the 17th century.  She was educated in the Horry County School system, at the University of Maryland, Atlanta and Emory Universities.  She has received numerous awards including the SC Governors Award in Humanities, the Distinguished Teaching Award at Coastal Carolina University and The Jean Laney Folk Heritage Award.  She is considered a foremost scholar  on Gullah history, culture and the SC Lowcountry.  She is a much sought after lecturer and scholar appearing on C-Span, CNN and National Geographic.  

Anita Singleton-Prather

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Anita Singleton-Prather created the character Aunt Pearlie Sue and leads the Gullah Traveling Theater in presenting the Gullah story through educational storytelling and musical performances worldwide.

She is a native of the Sea Islands in Beaufort County, South Carolina.

In addition to being a storyteller, Prather is an educator, singer, actress and historian. She is the founder of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk. As a storyteller and singer, Prather has performed at many festivals, including the Spoleto USA international arts festival in Charleston. She has appeared in the Hollywood film Forrest Gump and on “Christmas Across America” on the Food Network Channel.

She participates in educational documentaries, and Prather’s one-woman show, “Tales from the Land of Gullah,” has been broadcast on PBS nationwide, Canada and the Virgin Islands.

Her voice can be heard across the nation by radio broadcast as she spins her Gospel Top 10 tale, “Chicken Dinner Money.”

Prather is also the curriculum coordinator for the Education of Gullah Culture Through the Arts in the Beaufort County School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Howard University and a master’s degree in education from the University of South Carolina.

Holiday Sea Island Gullah Celebration

Holiday Sea Island Gullah Celebration

Date: December 4, 2015
Time: 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM EST
Production by Anita Singleton-Prather and The Gullah Kinfolk in historic Beaufort, South Carolina, at the University of South Carolina Beaufort campus Center for the Arts. The evening includes a taste of Gullah soul food buffet, artist showcase and marketplace, full stage musical with Aunt Pearlie Sue and Gullah Kinfolk: Christmas Wish Freedom Coming.

Gullah Christmas art by Diane Britton Dunham

Gullah Christmas art by Diane Britton Dunham

Meet Diane Britton Dunham and many more featured artists exhibiting before the show. Sample local Gullah foods and mingle with local chefs.

Freedom Coming is a significant performance that shares the Sea Island Gullah tradition with audiences in a new way, performed by Anita Singleton-Prather and her singing ensemble The Gullah Kinfolk from Beaufort, South Carolina.aunt pearlie sue

It is Christmas 1860, the last Christmas before the Civil War begins. The scene is a Sea Island slave cabin where enslaved Africans are anticipating Christmas day and talking about freedom. Gullah songs and storytelling include everything from spirituals, work songs and play songs to rhythmic, foot stomping ring shout songs that are unique to the Gullah praise house traditions.DSC_9314

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Book tickets at this link or call the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce 843-986-1102 to reserve your tickets for the Gullah performance, feast and art show or to arrange a weekend tour including history, culture and entertainment. Tickets are $35 at the door, $30 advance and $10 for children. Special group rates are available.

Brookgreen Gardens Hosts Gullah Celebrity Chef

On Saturday, February 28, at 2 p.m. Sallie Ann Robinson, author and Gullah celebrity chef, will present “Cooking and Living the Daufuskie Gullah Way” a cooking demonstration of crab rice and pecan crunch cookies. Part of “The Reign of Rice Lecture Series” about the Spirituality of Rice Heritage, this winter program will be in the Lowcountry Center Auditorium and is free with garden admission. Reservations are required by calling 235-6016. Robinson will be available for book signings after the program.unnamed

Born on Daufuskie Island, off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, Sallie Ann Robinson was among the students taught by Pat Conroy when the famous author was a teacher. Robinson has grown in her own right into the author of two celebrated cookbooks and an accomplished chef. Her culinary expertise has helped to preserve the food dishes for which her native island is famous and her work as a speaker nationwide, and as a tour guide on boat trips out of Savannah, Georgia, going to Daufuskie, have made her an authentic and much sought-after representative of Gullah culture.

Brookgreen Gardens is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and display American sculpture and regional plants, animals, and history. It is located on U.S. 17 between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island, South Carolina.

Gullah Celebration on St. Helena Island

In keeping with history and tradition the Corner Community on St. Helena Island, SC is gearing up to celebrate Memorial Day weekend. The businesses at the Corner are planning an array of activities to recognize Memorial Day, a holiday the people of St. Helena Island have always celebrated as part of their American heritage.

Sea Island Breezes by Diane Britton Dunham

“Sea Island Breezes” by Diane Britton Dunham

The Red Piano Too Art Gallery is hosting a special art exhibit on May 24, 2014, featuring the work of well-known lowcountry artist Diane Britton Dunham. The theme of this show is “The Gullah Creole Caribbean Connection.” Gullah Creole is the term coined by Dunham because it best describes her artwork blending elements of her colorful Louisiana Creole roots with the rich historical Gullah culture of the Sea Islands. She will discuss the Gullah Creole Caribbean art connection and related history during the exhibit.

Noted Beaufort musician and Dunham’s husband, Phil Griffin, will provide music for the Gullah side of the event from 12 Noon until 2 pm, playing classic Southern Blues and traditional Gullah music.

A collection of Gullah themed needlework hangings by Bridget Murray will also be exhibited. These pieces emphasize the detail Murray incorporates in her work.

The Red Piano Too Art Gallery presents the East of the River Steel band from Washington D.C. This band is made up of young people ages 6 to 19, in a program which enhances lives, builds confidence and fosters resiliency as it also develops a love and appreciation of the arts. The band will present a special concert from 2 pm to 3 pm. This is a must see performance according to long time Caribbean resident, Elayne Scott, who said “These young people literally transported me to the Caribbean when I heard their mastery of the steel pans. The pans are not easy to play, yet this band performs as well as any pan band from the islands of the Caribbean. What a treat to hear the beautiful rhythms.”

An additional exhibit of Lauren DeLoach‘s lowcountry paintings celebrating regional natural beauty will be presented at Bella Vita and Octopuses which are across the street and next door to the Red Piano Too Art Gallery.

All activities are free and open to the public throughout the Corner. For additional information contact the Red Piano Too Art Gallery, 870 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island S.C. 29920, phone (843) 838-2241.