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post #46 of 51
Just watched that documentary on the is all I can say....
post #47 of 51
Originally Posted by millionaire75 View Post

Just watched that documentary on the is all I can say....

Yes. That should be mandatory viewing for white supremacists. The saddest things were the grandma's birthday party and the kids. Funniest was the guy who shot his cousin in the face, then engaged in a two-day standoff with the police where he shot at them, and then thought the judge would let him off with probation.
post #48 of 51
Thread Starter 
I have never heard of the Pondshiners until today. Seems the do not exist anymore.
Wherever the Pondshiners and their name came from, once they made their exodus into the wilderness that’s where they stayed, brooding, in-breeding, and growing increasingly hermitic. Fair-skinned with bright blue eyes, they survived by hunting and by farming hardscrabble plots. Their income was virtually nil with one notable exception: basket weaving. Myth says they learned their skills from Indians who’d also retreated to the lonesome hills. The rounded baskets, which were woven from strips of hardwood, were superior even to Shaker handiwork, and modern collectors often confuse the two. The baskets were brought down the mountain and sold in the lakeside villages, usually by the unofficial patriarch of the clans. Today antiques dealers can bring in between $500 and $1,000 for a genuine Pondshiner product.
Grey Riders: The Story of the New York State Troopers, which featured a chapter called “The Frightened People.”

The hills were laced with little blind paths, running in and out of ravines, between boulders, twisting and branching endlessly. These were the highways of the Frightened People, used for mysterious ends of their own. We came out on another trail and met the Frightened People, face to face. Their clothing was ragged and dirty past all identification. Lank hair streamed over sallow faces that bore no evidence of even a remote acquaintance with soap. The eyes that watched us were not humanly curious. They held the blank terror of wild things… Birth and mating and death come to them as they come to the furred and feathered wild creatures of these hills. They keep no livestock, no poultry, and their efforts at agriculture are limited to draggled little patches of corn and potatoes, which live or wither as rain and insects see fit. Thus have they lived, for perhaps ten generations, shrinking in fright from outside contact...
Sadly for folklorists, such wild happenings eventually disappeared along with the distinct Pondshiner community. Forced into society by compulsory schooling, the clans slowly integrated. The art of basket-making disappeared also, at least partly because the younger generations were so upset at being called Pondshiners that they no longer wanted to be associated with the craft. The last true Pondshiner artisan was Elizabeth Proper, who sold baskets to Columbia County shopkeepers well into the 1980s
post #49 of 51
African slave traditions live on in U.S.
By Adeline Chen and Teo Kermeliotis, CNN
updated 11:50 AM EST, Fri December 7, 2012
The Gullah/Geechee are descendants of West African slaves brought to America to work in rice and cotton fields. Thanks to their relative isolation and strong community life, they've preserved their African cultural history.

(CNN) -- Along the lush sea-islands and the Atlantic coastal plains of the southern East coast of America, a distinctive group of tidewater communities has stuck together throughout the centuries, preserving its African cultural heritage and carving out a lifestyle that is uniquely its own.
The Gullah/Geechee people are direct descendants of West African slaves brought into the United States around the 1700s. They were forced to work in rice paddies, cotton fields and indigo plantations along the South Carolina-Georgia seaboard where the moist climate and fertile land were very similar to their African homelands.
After the abolition of slavery, they settled in remote villages around the coastal swath, where, thanks to their relative isolation, they formed strong communal ties and a unique culture that has endured for centuries.
"The Gullah/Geechee Nation is an extremely tightly knit community," says Chieftess Queen Quet, who was chosen to represent the Gullah/Geechee people in 2000. "It is as tightly knit as a sweet grass basket that's sewn together and as tightly knit as a cast net is sewn together -- there's strength in it and that means if you pull on it, you can't just get it to break apart."
See also: Tracing the slaves who shaped America
Brought to America from rice-producing Sierra Leone and other surrounding countries, the enslaved Africans came from a wide variety of ethnic groups. For many of them, the first contact with the New World was Sullivan's Island -- just off Charleston, South Carolina -- a place of huge emotional value for the Gullah/Geechee community to this day.
Click to enlarge map
"This is the landing point for over 40% of all the African people enslaved in North America," says Queen Quet. "It represents a place of pain; it also represents a place of connection because we're standing at the shore and we're looking eastward -- we're looking back home, we're looking to our mother, the mother land, mother Africa."
Carlie Towne, minister of information of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, says the Africans brought to the island were quarantined in pestilence houses to make sure they didn't have any diseases.
"A lot of people refer to this as the Ellis Island, but it's not, because we did not come freely," says Towne. "It didn't kill the spirit, because we are here today and paying homage today to our ancestors. It actually gave us a sense of community, of living together. Everything we did, it was a way for us to actually become who we are. It actually made us stronger and we continue today the legacy of our ancestors."
To this day, the Gullah/Geechee people are trying to hold steadfastly to the way of life of their African ancestors, passing on their traditions from one generation to the next.
Isolation helps slave descendants?
They gather sweet grass to practice the ancient African art of basket making; they pay homage to their West African traditions by keeping alive the ring shout music folk tradition; they make a living by fishing shrimps and harvesting oysters, using handmade nets and casting them the way their ancestors did centuries ago.
Handicraft connects Gullah to ancestors
"I fished with my father ever since I've been seven or eight," says Ricky Wright, vice president of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association. "It passes down because it's just a natural thing for us -- my parents did it, I'm quite sure my parents' parents did it, and it just descended down."
It is this natural connection that helps the Gullah/Geechee community tie their past to their future survival.
"[It's] almost like history repeating itself, what goes around comes around," says Wright. "OK, we've entered the computer age, but we still have to have hands-on for most of the things we do and fishing is like hands-on. You've got to do it to know it -- to keep the culture strong is to keep what you do intact."
Another key trait marking the population's distinctive cultural identity is the use of an English-based creole vernacular known as Gullah. Professor Salikoko S. Mufwene, of the department of linguistics at the University of Chicago, says the enslaved Africans and their descendants created the dialect in response to their own linguistic diversity.
"It is English modified under the influence of African languages," he says. "Any population that appropriates the language that is not their own, they are going to modify it."
Estimates about the current number of Gullah/Geechee people vary and exact figures are hard to verify. Gullah/Geechee leaders say that an approximately one million people belong to the nation, while other reports put the number closer to 250,000.
Mufwene says that after the Second World War there were several migrations out of the region towards cities like New York and Washington in search of jobs. He adds, however, that many of those who'd depart would often become disenchanted with life in the city and return back home.
Watch video: Slave descendants uphold African roots
What seems to be more certain is that Gullah/Geechee people have preserved the cultural heritage of their ancestors more than any other black Americans in the United States.
"We have the highest retention of African tradition in America," says Towne. "African-Americans have assimilated more so they don't have those African traditions that we have -- they don't treasure them, they don't honor their tradition like we do. And we've been able to hold onto that because of isolation, because of the strong will and our self-determination. We still eat the same foods [as] our ancestors [when they] came from Africa."
Mufwene agrees. He says the Gullah/Geechee people cook differently from continental African-Americans and the ways they interact with each other are very reminiscent of traditional life in Africa.
"They have also kept animal tales that are very similar to animal tales in Africa," he adds. "The characters are not exactly the same, because the ecology has changed, but the themes of the tales are very similar to the themes that you find in Africa."
Back on Sullivan's Island, overlooking the vast ocean that brought her ancestors to the shores of enslavement, Towne says Gullah/Geechee people should lose not lose sight of their past.
"This is actually the bloodline of our people, the water," she says. "I must come here and my children come here. And my children's children must come here too. Because we must never forget."

Also, I miss Jpierpont
post #50 of 51
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the shout out FLMM! I am almost (Florence, SC) in your part of the nation but am still doing some moving around.
post #51 of 51
Thread Starter 
Gee's Bend blacks are a group of Blacks from Alabama that were cut off from other Blacks and white because their land could only be reached by ferry. They like Geechies retained more African cultural feature than most blacks are really famous for their quilts. I plan on buying one of their quilts soon enough.

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