'We had lighter tongues': Making and mediating Gullah/Geechee personhood in the South Carolina Lowcountry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two historic institutions in the South Carolina Lowcountry, the Avery Institute/Avery Research Center and Penn School/Penn Center, played a central role in cultivating a complex Gullah community through the construction of construable and consumable Gullah identities. This ethnography explores how the ideological transitions undergone by these two institutions over the past 80. years have helped to shape conceptualizations of selfhood and belonging in local communities. These ideological transitions, initially mediated via formal schooling, and 'translated' in later years into cultural preservation and revitalization efforts, have engendered new and robust forms of Gullah selfhood and Gullah belonging in which Gullah ways of speaking, but not a bounded Gullah language-together with an idea of Gullah sincerity-have become key components in local community- and nation-building efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-159
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage and Communication
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Education
  • Gullah
  • Language ideology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

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