|Flickr Photo by Bruce Tuten|
If you've read my life list, you may have noticed, #12 to visit the Lowcountry in South Carolina, where my paternal grandmother was born. I still haven't visited, but I'm working on it.
Recently, I was going through my inbox cleaning out old email. Much of it was saved links for future posts and research. One of the saved links was for the Avery Research Center For African American History And Culture, located in Charleston, South Carolina. I saved it back in 2007 as a place that might be helpful in my research.
So now four years later, since I stumbled upon it so randomly, I decided to check the website and see if anything was happening there. It turns out that this coming September, the Center is hosting a two-day symposium: We Carry These Memories Inside of We: Celebrating the 20th Year Anniversary of Daughters of the Dust.
DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST
The movie Daughters of the Dust, by Julie Dash was not only one of the most beautiful pieces of cinema that I had ever seen, but I realized that it was part of my family story. Click here to see a film trailer. The Library of Congress honored Daughters of the Dust by placing it in the National Film Registry.
My grandmother had an accent that sounded Jamaican, which I had never understood until I saw this movie. I knew that she was born in this country, so how could she have a Caribbean accent? Not until seeing Daughters of the Dust, did I hear about Gullah culture. I still don't understand why my grandmother didn't talk more about this culture. She died years ago, before the movie was released. There are so many questions that I can never ask her.
Julie Dash will be at the symposium and I would love to go to South Carolina to research my family and hear her speak.
LOWCOUNTRY FOODWAYS PROJECT
The Avery Research Center also has information about a new project having to do with food called the Lowcountry Foodways Project. Could anything be more interesting to me?!
It's a collaborative project between Trident Technical College Library and the Avery Research Center.
According to the Lowcountry Foodways Project website, the "Lowcountry is a geographic area that stretches from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and 30 miles inland, following estuarine boundaries; culturally, its roots are a blend of African, Caribbean, English, French, and Native American peoples."
The cuisine is very distinctive. Because of many economic and demographic changes, that culinary heritage is in danger of being lost. The purpose of the project is to preserve this food history. I spoke with Project Director, Laura Barfield to find out more. Barfield said that they received a small planning grant to find out what is needed and hope to get a much larger grant to carry out the work. Currently they have people working on oral histories, video sharing applications, and going to archives to locate primary sources.
I was very excited to hear about this project and look forward to learning more about their progress and of course, the food!
*Updated 5/13/2011* Blogger has had several problems over the past few days. This post has disappeared, then reappeared. At the moment, the comments are gone. *sigh* Not sure if they are coming back, but I didn't delete them in case anyone was wondering what happened to them.
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