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Friday, July 22, 2011

All Things Gullah

Family Day:  All Things Gullah, the final program in connection with the Anacostia Community Museum’s acclaimed exhibition “Word, Shout, Song:  Lorenzo Dow Turner Connecting Communities through Language” will take place Saturday, July 23rd. “Word, Shout, Song” which closes July 24,focuses on Turner’s research documenting the retention of African languages and culture among the descendents of enslaved African people—the Gullah/Geechee of the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands and the Bahians of Brazil.  The majority of the exhibition includes materials contained within the Lorenzo Dow Turner papers.

Doing the ring shout in Georgia, 1930s.  Lorenzo Dow Turner Papers
 The event offers something for everyone, including exhibition tours, art activities, storytelling, a sweetgrass basket making demonstration, a Gullah orator’s circle, and a Gullah dress-up opportunity, and much more.  The event ends with what the museum hope is the largest “ring shout” ever recorded, led by the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters and the Santa Barbara Shout Project with the help of Family Day attendees.  The ring shout is a form of religious dance with roots in Africa that is still practiced among the Gullah.

ACM Archives staff has digitized and cataloged images of Turner’s Gullah informants and are working with the museum’s research staff to further identify members of various Sea Islands communities interviewed by Lorenzo Dow Turner. 

Jennifer Morris
Anacostia Community Museum Archives

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