Southern Heritage: Gullah Books To Add To Your Home Library

As a Lowcountry native, I am always proud to learn more about Gullah culture. One of the ways I immerse myself in the culture is by curating Gullah heritage books. Today I am sharing a list of Gullah books that should be a part of any Black Southern Belle home library. From food, to history to decor, Gullah Culture has influence American culture and history in so many ways and these books just touch the surface. Check out some of my favorites below and be sure share images of your favorite books using the hashtag #blacksouthernbelle

Southern Heritage: Gullah Books To Add To Your Home Library

Gullah Geechee Heritage in the Golden Isles (American Heritage)

The Golden Isles are home to a long and proud African American and Gullah Geechee heritage. Ibo Landing was the site of a mass suicide in protest of slavery, the slave ship Wanderer landed on Jekyll Island and, thanks to preservation efforts, the Historic Harrington School still stands on St. Simons Island. From the Selden Normal and Industrial Institute to the tabby cabins of Hamilton Plantation, authors Amy Roberts and Patrick Holladay explore the rich history of the region’s islands and their people, including such local notables as Deaconess Alexander, Jim Brown, Neptune Small, Hazel Floyd and the Georgia Sea Island Singers.

Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956

The Gullah culture, though borne of isolation and slavery, thrived on the US East Coast sea islands from pre-Civil War times until today, and nowhere more prominently than on Hilton Head Island, SC. On this small barrier island descendants of the first generations of Gullah people continue to preserve Gullah language, customs, arts, and cuisine. The three authors of Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956 are among those descendants, and in this book, they chronicle the amazing history of their secluded community from the Civil War through the 1950s, when real estate development connected Hilton Head Island to the mainland with a bridge.

Growing Up Gullah in the Lowcountry

This is a bright, colorful and informative children’s book about the Gullah culture derived from West African slave descendants. It is a book that may be used to explain differing cultures and black history. The author acquaints the reader with heirs’ property, the parcels of land many of the Gullah live on in the Lowcountry and surrounding Sea Islands acquired by freedmen after the Civil War. Other numerous aspects of the Gullah culture are introduced including sweetgrass basketmaking, a time-honored tradition brought from West Africa, herbal medicines, Southern cooking which incorporates many plants and vegetables brought from Africa, as well as the importance of faith and family. Certain points about the Civil War are discussed and the African American hero Robert Smalls is introduced. All of this is conveyed through the use of thirty colorful illustrations designed by a Lowcountry artist.

Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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