304 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 13 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3268-1
Published: April 2017
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3267-4
Published: April 2017
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-3269-8
Published: March 2017
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This wide-ranging history upends a long tradition of scrutinizing the Low Country blacks of Sapelo Island by refocusing the observational lens on those who studied them. Cooper uses a wide variety of sources to unmask the connections between the rise of the social sciences, the voodoo craze during the interwar years, the black studies movement, and black land loss and land struggles in coastal black communities in the Low Country. What emerges is a fascinating examination of Gullah people's heritage, and how it was reimagined and transformed to serve vastly divergent ends over the decades.
About the Author
Melissa L. Cooper is assistant professor of history at Rutgers University-Newark.
For more information about Melissa L. Cooper, visit the Author Page.
“[An] incisive history. . . . Highlight[s] the land battles, bigotry, and poverty that beset the Gullah.’"--The New Yorker
“A unique contribution to the multitude of previous studies focusing on Gullah culture, skillfully highlighting the heritage of the Gullah people and unveiling the history of the prolific studies of African America's African connection through the lens of Sapelo Island, GA. Highly recommended”--Choice
“Making Gullah is an original and provocative look at the culture of Georgia’s Sapelo Islanders and the tensions between natives and outsiders over the construction of their cultural identity. This is an important book, one that helps us better understand popular and scholarly discourse about race and culture in the twentieth century.”--Jerry B. Gershenhorn, author of Melville J. Herskovits and the Racial Politics of Knowledge
“Fresh and compelling, Making Gullah reveals a vital story about the creation of ‘Gullah’ over the twentieth century and right up to today. Melissa Cooper’s excellent work uncovers the complex origins of race making and identity formation on Sapelo Island. This is a crucial history of land rights and reparations.”--Clare Corbould, author of Becoming African Americans
Multimedia & Links
Listen: Cooper talks to James Stancil for the New Books Network podcast. (5/19/2017, running time 53:43)