South Carolina ETV (SCETV) premiered a new hour-long documentary film last October, entitled Gullah Roots.
The show followed leaders of the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands’ Gullah Geechee community as they experienced a homecoming in Sierra Leone.
The trip to Sierra Leone took place last winter and included Gullah Geechee scholars, performers and cultural ambassadors. The documentary followed Lowcountry residents, Anita Singleton Prather, also known as Aunt Pearlie Sue of the Gullah Kinfolk. Ron and Natalie Daise, known for the award-
While touring the country, members of the group noted powerful connections between Sierra Leone and the Gullah Geechee people. For example, in one village, Nakia Wigfall, director of the Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Preservation Society, sewed a sweetgrass basket with a local basket maker.
Part of SCETV’s “Carolina Stories” series and achieved with support from South Carolina Humanities, Gullah Roots dives deep into South Carolina’s ties with West Africa.
It educated viewers about Gullah heritage, including spiritual, musical and artistic traditions. Gullah Roots is a sequel to SCETV’s 1990 documentary Family Across the Sea. Betsy Newman and Xavier Blake produced this project. And Newman directed, wrote and edited the piece. The film aims to raise awareness about the Gullah Geechee community and its ties to West Africa. It also examines the challenges many in that community face today and the progress they have made since the first homecoming to Sierra Leone 30 years ago.
Beuafort.com would like to thank South Carolina ETV for this article.
For more information on SCETV, please visit www.scetv.org