God, Dr. Buzzard And The Bolito Man – A Saltwater Geechee Talks about life on Sapelo Island, Georgia

Took January off from blogging – it just needed to be done.

Jumping back in… The second book I read about Gullah / Geechee culture was God, Dr. Buzzard And The Bolito Man – A Saltwater Geechee Talks about life on Sapelo Island, Georgia by Cornelia Walker Bailey (with Christena Bledsoe).

For a blogger that is supposed to be all about the books, I really struggle with how to review them. So, I’ve decided not to – no summaries, no deep analysis. Every time I start something like that I bore myself, so I can only imagine how you would feel if I actually posted it.

So. Moving on…

This is a beautiful book.

Fantastic.

I’m never going to loan out my copy – you should get one for yourself (the link above will take you right to the author’s website). Ms. Bailey has a gift for storytelling – from her words, I could so easily imagine her family, her home, her surroundings, her culture. READ THIS BOOK.

“When I tell you about the strength of our elders, our views on everything from birth to death and the hereafter, and how I came to fear for my people, I am telling you about who we were and are as a people. I want to hold up our customs and traditions for you to see one at a time, as if each is a bright piece of fabric that I will stitch into a warm geechee quilt you can look at and say, ‘Those Geechee people really did have a different way of living and believing over there.”

“I am a storyteller and my tale is of a people so private our story has never been told before. I tell it now for my people, in hopes it will create a new beginning on this island, a shining dayclean, and for people everywhere: You can survive if you believe in yourself and your culture.

“This is how I remember it. Lean back and listen.” 

Saltwater Marsh – Sapelo Island
(image from Wikimedia Commons)

Gullah History Along the Carolina Lowcountry

I’ve finished my first book about Gullah: Gullah History Along the Carolina Lowcountry by Thomas Pyatt. This slim little book is pleasurable reading; it’s like having a quirky great-uncle telling you family stories. A great first introduction to life as it once was, and still is, in Gullah communities in South Carolina.

Going from one Georgia to the other Georgia

This being my blog and all, I am expanding the scope yet again. I’m not going to keep doing that every other week, but I will whenever I feel like it. How about that for boundaries? Anyway. I’m starting a new sub-category called “Nations within Nations”. There are lots of people in this world that have more in-depth stories of where and how they live, and it’s imperative to honor that.

So, on to the next few weeks. I wanted to wind down the year with something a little closer to home and I was presented with the perfect chance, with Georgia on my mind. I took a deep dive into the country, so now it’s time to turn to the state of the same name…

I’m going to focus on the Gullah / Geechee nation, and the influence they’ve had on the Lowcountry of the American South, and the rest of the U.S, even if most Americans might not know it. I’m fortunate to have had a small , very distant introduction to the power of this culture, having grown up in Savannah, and I’m genuinely excited to learn more.