How have the Gullah/Geechee, a population of African Americans in South Carolina and Georgia, held tight to their African cultural roots beyond other African Americans in the US? This distinction results from the preservation of the folklore and oral traditions by the Gullah. Through an examination of music and selected texts, participants will discuss their impression of “Gullah” and “Geechee” and the folklore, values, and ideals associated with them. Moreover, the challenges and rewards of preserving traditional cultures, in general, will be explored.
Ada McKenzie Thomas
Assistant Professor of World Literature at Bloomfield College
Ada McKenzie Thomas is Assistant Professor of World Literature at Bloomfield College. Previously, she was Assistant Professor of English at the College of The Bahamas. As a comparatist, she researches a variety of literary traditions, specializing in the multilingual literatures of the African Diaspora. Dr. McKenzie Thomas’ background includes experience in the public humanities, as she has worked at cultural institutions including Penn Center—a National Historic Landmark Site in the Sea Islands of South Carolina.