2011 Gullah Film Series

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Date: January 31, 2011
Contact: Nathan Johnson, (843) 881-5516

 The National Park Service invites the public to a free film series at Charles Pinckney National Historic Site during February and March 2011. Every Sunday at 2:00 p.m., rangers will present documentaries about African-American culture and history in the Lowcountry. These films complement the Gullah heritage programs which are presented at the park each Saturday during the same period.

  • February 6: From Barbados to Carolina (SCETV, 1999). For the first twenty years of colonization in South Carolina, nearly half the English settlers and almost all the enslaved Africans and African Americans came from Barbados. Shared elements of Barbadian and Lowcountry culture still exist today, as demonstrated in this documentary.
  • February 13: Unchained Memories: Readings from the Slave Narratives (HBO, 2003). Celebrities narrate transcripts of interviews with former slaves, bringing to life the pain and suffering, the fear and yearning, and the pride and spirit of people born into slavery.
  • February 20: Civil War Journal: The 54th Massachusetts (A&E, 1993). This documentary examines the history of the famous African-American regiment that led an infantry assault on Battery Wagner in Charleston Harbor on July 18, 1863. Park ranger Donel Singleton will present an additional program about the soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts.
  • February 27: Slavery and the Making of America: The Challenge of Freedom (PBS, 2005). This film documents the transition from enslavement to emancipation to citizenship, focusing on the life of “Gullah Statesman” Robert Smalls, an enslaved South Carolinian who escaped to freedom during the Civil War and became active in politics during Reconstruction.
  • March 6: The Language You Cry In (California Newsreel, 1998). Anthropologists and linguists trace the historical roots of a burial hymn brought to America by the Mende people over two hundred years ago, and still sung by their descendants in coastal Georgia during the twentieth century.
  • March 13: The Jenkins Orphanage Band (SCETV, 1993). Using interviews with former orphans, orphanage staff, and historians, this documentary examines how a children’s brass band, begun in Charleston around 1894, later influenced the development and popularity of jazz music.
  • March 20: Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (College of Charleston, 2008). This documentary follows Mount Pleasant basket makers as they harvest materials, create baskets, and discuss the meaning of their work.
  • March 27: Bin Yah: There’s No Place Like Home (ChasDOC Film Society, 2007). Using the testimonies of Mount Pleasant residents, this film illuminates the threat that suburban development poses to local African-American communities and the preservation of Gullah culture.

Charles Pinckney National Historic Site preserves a 28-acre remnant of Snee Farm, the Lowcountry plantation of Charles Pinckney, a framer and signer of the United States Constitution. Located at 1254 Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant, the park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. For more information, call (843)881-5516.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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