This is a bright, colorful and informative children’s book about the Gullah culture derived from West African slave descendants. It is a book that may be used to explain differing cultures and black history. The author acquaints the reader with heirs’ property, the parcels of land many of the Gullah live on in the Lowcountry and surrounding Sea Islands acquired by freedmen after the Civil War. Other numerous aspects of the Gullah culture are introduced including sweetgrass basketmaking, a time-honored tradition brought from West Africa, herbal medicines, Southern cooking which incorporates many plants and vegetables brought from Africa, as well as the importance of faith and family. Certain points about the Civil War are discussed and the African American hero Robert Smalls is introduced. All of this is conveyed through the use of thirty colorful illustrations designed by a Lowcountry artist.
About the Author
The author, originally from Ohio, grew up in a poor, single-parent family situated in the inner-city. The hardship and violence she experienced catapulted her into a career in the field of social work. After obtaining bachelor and master degrees in the field, she decided to further her education. Thereafter, the author enrolled in government studies at the London School of Economics in London, England where she studied public administration and public policy. Following this, she gained a law degree from Hofstra University on Long Island, NY. After working briefly in Washington, DC, she returned to her home state of Ohio where she focused on child abuse, domestic violence and sexual offenses. The rest of her career she continued to serve in this area while living in different regions of the country. The last decade of her career she also became involved in the struggle to combat human trafficking, a spiraling problem. Following more than thirty years in public service, the author retired and moved along with her husband to the Charleston, South Carolina area. After experiencing a series of vivid dreams about an enslaved woman and her white master, the author began to research the Gullah culture, race-based slavery and history of Charleston. Based on five years of research, site visits and interviews with Gullahs, the author penned this book for children and a soon to be released historical fiction novel.