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Making Gullah : A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination - by Melissa L. Cooper

Making Gullah : A History of Sapelo Islanders, Race, and the American Imagination - by Melissa L. Cooper - image 1 of 1

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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 networks, positioning beating drums and blood sacrifices as essential elements of black folk culture. Inspired by this curious mix of influences, researchers converged on one site in particular, Sapelo Island, Georgia, to seek support for their theories about "African survivals." The legacy of that body of research is the area's contemporary identification as a Gullah community and a set of broader notions about Gullah identity.

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.
Number of Pages: 292
Genre: Social Science, History
Series Title: John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Pr
Author: Melissa L. Cooper
Language: English
Street Date: April 17, 2017
TCIN: 51893725
UPC: 9781469632674
Item Number (DPCI): 248-37-0340
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MSRPReg: $85.00 Save $4.25 (5% off)
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