I hope my friend Joe McGill will forgive me for so blatantly plagiarizing the above photo and quote from the Slave Dwelling Project website. I just couldn't think of any better way to underscore his point that the contributions and impact of African Americans on the history of the Lowcountry are not a footnote in a larger story. I don't believe you can even begin to discuss the history of the Lowcountry without the African-American story being inextricably linked to every facet of it - our culture, our mores, our language, our foodways, our spirtuality, our buildings, our economy, our high points and our low ones.
For that reason, I've resisted creating a page on this website titled "African American History." It's too blended to separate, I argued with myself. Yet I've come to believe that providing a page to collect resources that specifically contribute to the African- American story in the Lowcountry could be useful and so that is what I will try to accomplish here..
Like all my pages, this one will always fall short of being complete, but I will keep adding to it as I go along. Please let me know if there is a specific topic you would be interested in reading more about and I'll see what I can find on it. I hope you'll find these resources helpful.
Books for Further Reading
Baldwin, William, et.al. Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea. (Charleston: Evening Post Publishing Co., 2012). Recipes from the Gullah tradition with contextual narratives.
Ball, Edward. Slaves in the Family. (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998). Ball traces his family's history as slave owners.
Brown, Alphonso. A Gullah Guide to Charleston: Walking Through Black History. Charleston: History Press, 2008) A self-directed walking tour of sites associated with Black history.
Hilliard, Theresa Jenkins. A Guide to Charleston's African American Historical Markers. (Columbia, SC: Self published, 2021) A self-directed walking tour of sites associated with Black history.
McCray, Jack. Charleston Jazz. (Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2007) Stories of the evolution of American jazz.
Powers, Dr. Bernard E. Jr. Black Charlestonians: A Social History, 1822 - 1885. (Fayettville: University of Arkansas Press, 1994) An academic study of socioeconomic challenges for Blacks as they emerge into full citizenship.
Vlach, John Michael. Charleston Blacksmith: The Work of Philip Simmons. (Athens, Ga.: Universitiy of Georgia Press, 1981) An excellent history of the Lowcountry's greatest blacksmith.