This is an interview with Mr. Sam Doyle on the island of St. Helena, South Carolina. For the sake of clarity, I took the liberty to translate his deep Gullah into a more standard form of English.  However, I tried to maintain the authenticity of this distinct diction and the tonal quality of his language.

When John F. Szwed  wrote, “Africa lies just off the coast of Georgia,” in the October 1970 issue of African Report, he was referring to the mainland coastal areas and adjacent Sea Islands of Georgia and South Carolina, where there exists the most direct repository of living African culture to be found in North America.  The people living here have retained much of their African culture and speak their own African influenced language called Gullah. Sam Doyle a long time resident is one of the most important Folk Artist ever to come out the State of South Carolina because of his ability to take discarded items and paint a visual history of the Island’s past.  He tells the history of the people of the Island of St. Helena, South Carolina through paint.  It is a history which is not in books, but rather told for the people and by the people. 

Sam Doyle was born and spent his entire life on the St. Helena, which used to be called Frogmore.  He created a colorful gallery of local characters like his great grandmother, Adelaide Washington, who was born a slave, and his great grand father Pedro Rivers, also born a slave but fought in the Civil War.  Most of what he painted were scenes from the Island such the island’s first black midwife, and the ghost “Whooping boy” and the mythical visit of Abraham Lincoln to the island. He remembered all the images and stories passed on down from his slave grandparents.

Sam Doyle was one of nine children born to farming parents.  He attended the Penn School, which was established by northern philanthropist.  There his artistic talents were noted before he was a teenager.  He was invited to go to New York to study art; instead he was forced to go to work after the ninth grade.  He first worked as a stock clerk, then for twenty years as a porter in a warehouse, and finally, from 1950 to 1967, in the laundry Parris Island Marine Corps base.  Later, Doyle was caretaker for the Chapel of Ease, a noted ruin in Frogmore, South Carolina.

During the 1940s Doyle’s wife and their three children left him to move to the big City of New York.  Outside of St. Helena the largest St. Helena population lives in Harlem.  With this lost Doyle began to paint.  He used accessible roofing tin and enamel house paint, and with his painting he told the story of slavery and the history of Blacks on the Island.  When I first visited Sam Doyle in 1984, his paintings where outside in his front yard for local residents to see and buy.  Today his paintings are rare and priceless with some of Doyle work costing over 250,000 per piece.  Only one of the few times Doyle ever left the island was to travel to the Washington, D.C. exhibition “Black Folk Art in America, where he was regarded as one of America’s greatest folk artists.

Holloway: Can you tell me about the history of the island?

Sam Doyle: “Well uh as far back as I know, what was told to me uh, all that I know from 75 years ago. ….he was in prison and my great grand parents they were all slaves uh the people who could give you more history after when dey first came here they all wash out now.  There was a storm near here in 1893 it was 400 dead was ashore.  They were mostly from Africa.  Do you understand?”

Holloway: They were from Africa? Do you know what part of Africa they came from?

Sam: “No I really didn’t know, I didn’t know.

Holloway: Do you know any of your relatives that were from Africa?

Sam  Doyle: “My great grandmother Sendaliasa”

Holloway: What was her name?

Sam Doyle: “Sendaliasa, she came from Africa, and she was in a Master Dr. Wake.  That was a very famous Doctor on the island, she was the first black woman was the first black midwife was trained by Dr. Wake uh to take your babies uh. Adelaide that’s a grand aunh she was a slave too.

Holloway: What was her name?

Sam Doyle: Adelaide Washington ….people I know that wasn’t slaves you know….old soldiers and things …..  Like Pablo Rivers he was my great grandfather and he told him Lincoln came and spoke to him on highway 21 near Indian hill before he was inducted in the army. Uh I know that that’s for sure he told me that I didn’t know it off hand but he told me that.[2]

Holloway: What was his name?

Sam Doyle: Pablo Rivers, yeah and ah he was a soldier in the Civil  War and I think he was a cobbler he was the greatest one…. That they recruit from the island here… he told us a story of Lincoln how he spoke to the yeah how he spoke to them on Indian Hill before they went into the army you understand. So anyhow, uh there are some other things if you look around at the pictures some of them you may actually can……….but uh now they giving you the fact of the African people as far as I know back.  I know a Woman’s name Utan.

Holloway: Utan?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, Utan she was a she was she came from Africa too and she was a soul teacher a mile along the road there she taught about she taught about everyone across the island, I know she taught about 2000 souls.  That’s the time when uh cats go into the woods and tie your heads and wake from it they would go in the woods at night and you have a dream da dream that brings to this lady. The more you bring the dream to her and uh she knew exactly when you bring the right dream and when you bring the right dream then you be ready for baptism uh she was an old slave too.

Holloway: She was an old slave too?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, she was an old slave too, but she was a soul teacher and she taught many a soul yeah on this island yeah. And uh I don’t know too much more but there are things I know about that but my age coming up you know.

Holloway: Do you remember any African community here on the island?

Sam Doyle: There use to be an African community on the Wallace Plantation, but the storm of 1893 wiped them all out.  Dey were real Africans.  Yeah, dem people dat can give you more history dey all gon’ now.  Dem people on de Wallace Plantation dey were African and I know dis to be true.  Dey were the people dat know all about Africa and African things.  Dey all gon’ now dey were wiped out when de storm of 1893 came.[3]

Holloway: How old are you?

Sam Doyle: I’m 76 now 76 so my history is mostly what I know my pictures tell a lot of story you understand. (See Sam Doyle gallery for pictures he is referring too)

Holloway: Uh Huh, Do you know any African words?

Sam Doyle: No I do not I do not know any African words.

Holloway: Do you remember any of the people here on the island named after days of the week? Like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Sam Doyle: Oh yes, yes, have one named Monday have one named Friday have man named Sunday those three names I remember days of the week.

Holloway: Did you remember any names like Cudjo?

Sam Doyle: Cudjo? No Cudjo 

Holloway: What about names like Abba?

Sam Doyle: Abba no I know Rippa but not Abba, Rippa

Holloway: What about names like Quako?

Sam Doyle: Quaka? Ahhh I know Quaker but not Quaka. I know a Quaker name Quaker.

Holloway: What about Kofi?

Sam Doyle: What?

Holloway: Kofi? Kofi..

Sam Doyle: Kofi? Yeah I know people like that name too.

Holloway: Do they still here name people after the days of the week?

Sam Doyle: Yeah sometimes right now children with names of the week yeah.

Holloway: Do you know why they would name people after days of the week, the children?

Sam Doyle: I wouldn’t know why.

Holloway: What about nicknames. What kind of nick names did they used to give to the children here?

Sam Doyle: Well, mostly natural names. Sam, John, Atomo, James you get names from the bible sometimes you get names from the bible, president or somebody like that.

Holloway: What about pet names?

Sam Doyle: Pet names?

Holloway: Like naming someone yellowtail, spider?

Sam Doyle: We have no spider, I know a person named fly.

Holloway: Why did they call them Fly?

Sam Doyle: Just a name

Holloway: Just a name, do you have any other names like that?

Sam Doyle: Kitty, Doggie

Holloway: Kitty? Doggie?

Sam Doyle: Kitty, Doggie that’s right.

Holloway: All your life you have spent on the island?

Sam Doyle: All of my life right here

Holloway: Have you ever left the island?

Sam Doyle: Ah yeah my company had us go to Washington that was the first time I ever left the island.  

 Holloway: I wanted to ask you about the burial practices, pot and plates and other household items placed on top of the graves.

Sam Doyle: They stopped that in the 20s.  Everything that person used, forks, spoons or the saucers or the medicines, uh they put all on the grave. Yeah, they put take the medicine and turn it down in there on the grave. Yeah they take the medicine that the people used.  It was just the old tradition that the person gone was still going to use that medicine, so they giving him medicine all along.

Holloway: Everything that person used in the grave just old traditions and the dishes that they used.

Sam Doyle: Oh, yeah, I remember seeing them put it on the grave. Yeah, I remember that now.  I remember that.  There were no flowers, no head stone, only head stones were for Civil War soldiers.

Holloway: Why were the Civil War soldiers the only one to have head stones?

Sam Doyle: I believe that didn’t come in fashion here on the island you know. That didn’t become fashion here.

Holloway: What they did was to take everything that person used in life and placed them on the grave?

Sam Doyle: Yeah that’s what they did.

Holloway: Did anyone ever tell you that this was an African tradition?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, an old man said this was from Africa.

Holloway: He said this was from Africa?

Sam Doyle: Old man Gabriel Armstrong was his name.  He said that’s the way they buried dem in Africa.  They give them everything da they own.

Holloway: Did you know any other African who African who remembered this practice?

Sam Doyle: No.

Holloway: Mr. Doyle you said that this practice stopped around the 1920s?

Sam Doyle: ‘round the 20s.

Holloway: Why did it stop?

Sam Doyle: Well, that time yonder people come into session then and I guess they brought new things then, I  they quickly lose medicine and stuff and they became to put wild flowers or something on the graves and they planted some kind of cane.  You find lot of grave yards now covered with canes and it’s hard to get in there.

Holloway: Are there any graves yards on the island now covered with sugar canes?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, there are some in Waters’ grave yard, Frogmore grave yard and Cover grave yards and those canes put on the graves.

Holloway: Do you know why they put the cane on the graves?

Sam Doyle: I don’t know.

 Holloway: If I go down to Frogmore grave yard, I will see [sugar] cane?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, Cane!  Cane!   Cane!   Cane!

 Holloway: Cane?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, cane, that’s something that grows like corn.

Holloway: You mean Sugar Cane?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, cane, it grows like wild flowers.  They call it wild cane.

Holloway: So they have wild cane on the graves.

Sam Doyle: Yeah, that’s right!  And that can spreads. One cane will spread across the whole grave yard and then you have to chop it down.

Holloway: What about the passing of children over the coffin of the decease person:

Sam Doyle: I don’t know why, but I have seen it recently and they still do it!

Holloway: When was the last time you seen it?

Sam Doyle: I seen it about two years ago.  They take the baby and hand it across the casket.  I don’t know why but they do it.[4]

Holloway: Do they put anything on top of the graves today?

Sam Doyle: Flowers!

Holloway: Did they place the flowers in any particular patterns?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, they make it very pretty with some at the head and some at the foot and they plant some on the side.  Yeah, they make it look very pretty now.

Holloway: Did they place the flowers in a similar design like they use to do with pots, medicine bottles, plates and pans in the olden days?

Sam Doyle: Yeah that’s right!

Holloway: So now the flowers take the place of…..

Sam Doyle: Yeah, of the crockery.

Holloway: So this is the major change you have seen.

Sam Doyle: That’s right.  That’s right, I have seen it.

Holloway: Is there anything else that you can tell me about what you remember in your youth about games you used to play or customs to have that were believed to have originated from Africa?

Sam Doyle: Well, we use to get together a bunch of boy and get a stick six feet long and tie a string at the end of it and we would ride off with that.  That was a game in Africa, they said—riding the stick horse. Uh, we did not have guns, but all the boys had a something called a fire stick a stick with that log, but we did not have any guns we go hunting with that.  They used to say that’s how they use to hunt in Africa.  They hunt with that in Africa.

Holloway: How did they use this stick to hunt?

Sam Doyle:  We had the dogs and the dogs would chase the rabbits out the bush and with used the stick like this.[5] We also used it to fish.

Holloway: Did you use nets to fish with?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, everybody made their own nets.  In those days every family had what they call a boat because live mostly out of the river and oysters were the great food they had.  Money was scarce. Doing my boy days coming up, everybody had a big old shared bank in the back yard, and it was Oysters for breakfast and supper and that was the main dish.

Holloway: Oysters?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, Oysters! I was working over two years on the river front here and we were digging up oysters and a lot a fish about three feet deep  The slaves had a saying that when the master go, they would go and steal oysters and then bury it in the ground to keep the master from seeing it.  Ha!  Ha!   Ha!  Old Masa nebber knew what was goin’ on.

Holloway: What other kind of foods did you eat here on the island?

Sam Doyle: Uh, their was peas was the next food and with had an old fashion ting that came from Africa its name was Tanyan.

Holloway: Tania?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, Tanyan.  It had elephant ear-like leaf and on the bottom was something like turnip and was purple.  It was something that came from Africa.  It came from Africa.  Mine Ma Ma used to grow it.  This crop vanished after the 1911 storm.  Everything vanished and it don’t grow no more.[6]

Holloway: Do you remember any other African foods from your youth?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, there was something called turn flour and meal. That corn meal. The old people say that gives them strength and the chillum too. You take boiling water and some corn meal and you stir it up until it becomes like glue and harden up.  They would then take in out a given each child a little pan full and pour some milk on it. Da we call turn flower and meal.[7]

Holloway: Turn Flour and meal?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, that’s the name turn flour.

Holloway: Is that like corn bread?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, but not quite like corn bread because it does not have a crush. It done in the African way because you have to turn the flour over.

Holloway: What are some of your other foods?

Sam Doyle: Fish, fish you could always get fish.

Holloway: How did you prepare it?

Sam Doyle: Scale it! Fry it put some water on it, salt and pepper that’s it, make a soup.

Holloway: What else did you eat?

Sam Doyle: Peas, beans, squash, tomatoes. I believe that was it with the foods. 

Holloway: Did you eat okra?

Sam Doyle: Oh Yeah! We eat okra?

Holloway: Any other foods?

Sam Doyle: It was pigeon peas, Yankee beans, chinning peas, cow peas, and black-eyed peas.

Holloway: What about yams?

Sam Doyle: Oh yeah! That’s the main crop.

Holloway: You would say that yam was the main crop?

Sam Doyle: You could boil it, roast it, bake it or eat it raw. Uhm yams are good.

Holloway: Do the people here on the island of St. Helena eat the same foods?

Sam Doyle: Some of the foods they eat.  Most of them rough foods or old time foods. Yeah, time brings change you know.

Holloway: Would you say that most of the style of cooking was stewing:

Sam Doyle: Yeah, stewing was the style of cooking.

Holloway: Did you ever make anything called gumbo?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, yeah!

Holloway: How do you make gumbo?

Sam Doyle: Gumbo,[8] okra,[9] beans or any vegetables put together to make a good soup out of it, and there is more than one way to make that gumbo.  As far as I know you mix meal and vegetables together. You can make a shrimp pearl, oyster stew, crab stew, fried crab, and all those island foods.

Holloway: Do you know any of those African stories they used to tell of the island like Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox?

Sam Doyle: Oh, yeah, I remembered a lot of those stories.

Holloway: Can you tell me any?

Sam Doyle: It’s been so long since I tell any of those stories.  I know Rabbit and the Wolf a short one.  He when to a dance and Brer Rabbit took his girl and [Brer] Wolf took his girl too to the party and they start dancing, and the dance get good and Brer Rabbit let the Wolf dance with his girl, and the Wolf let Brer Rabbit dance with his girl.  When music start playing and the Wolf was dancing with Brer Rabbit  girl, he calls for “far dance,” no close dance, and when Brer Rabbit danced with the Wolf girl he called for “close dance.”

Holloway: That was a real good one!  Could you tell me another one?

Sam Doyle: The Rabbit and the Wolf.  The Wolf wife was sick and send for Brer Rabbit.  The Wolf was going to have a baby, so he sent for Brer Rabbit to go and get some butter.  The Wolf tells Brer Rabbit where to find the butter at, and uh bring some back for the baby, the rabbit goes for the wolf’s butter.  The rabbit comes back and sees one baby and the wolf says what shall I name him, and the rabbit says name him Mastadum and he start eating the wolf’s butter.  So, he sends Brer Rabbit to get mo’ better, and he comes back again and there is another child, and the Wolf says what shall I name this one, and Brer Rabbit says Buhalfa, because he has ate half the wolf’s better. Uh, send him back again; what do I name this one.  I name it Madonnam.  Wolf gets up and goes and find no butter.  The Rabbit tell him me name Madonnam, me done eat all.  The Wolf say someone eat all my butter and he go find out who he did. We going to bed and the rabbit say let’s go to bed and lay down and we find the grease on the one who eat the butter in dey morning.  The Wolf starts soaring, soaring,  he gone get some butter and puts it on the wolf and wake him up and Brer Rabbit says, Brer Wolf wake up! Wake up! Butter is on your tail and you the one who eat the butter. The Wolf say yeah I done dem. Brer Rabbit said you the one who eat the butter. [10]

Holloway: Who use to tell the stories here on the island?

Sam Doyle: They use to tell the stories at night next to the fire.  It was the only comfort da chillum had. Dey would tell the story to cheer dem up.

Holloway: Who was the best story teller around?

Sam Doyle: Best story…..well, uh, the best one I know he’s dead now.

Holloway: What was his name? 

Sam Doyle: His name was Monday Small.  He was a good story teller.  A good story teller.

Holloway: Do they tell stories like that today?

Sam Doyle: Not hardly, not hardly.  High education cut those things and different subjects.

Holloway: If I was to say to you what is Gullah?  What would you say?

Sam Doyle: I heard the name Gullah,[11] and I heard the name Geegee[12]  and I still yet don’t understand.  They use that name sometimes now but I don’t know.

Holloway: You don’t know what they mean went they say Gullah?

Sam Doyle: I  figure it has to do with a black person that comes from Africa. It could be some place where they come from.

Holloway: When you where growing up did you not hear people use the term Gullah?

Sam Doyle: I heard other people calling us Gullahs. It was not said among blacks, but I heard white people calling us Gullahs. 

Holloway: The Whites used it?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, yeah, but I don’t know what it means.  We had some good people that helped us out after slavery with the Penn school.

Holloway: I notice that the people here on the island seem to live for a very long time.  Could you tell me why? 

Sam Doyle: Some people say its according to the food they eat and that the climate suit them more, I don’t know what dey want to say that it was hot in Africa and since dey came out here the same climate suit dem here more than up in the North and that’s why they live longer here now.  They eat stronger foods; people out here eat stronger foods. Yeah, these people in big cities the foods is not just as strong and heavy as the food down here.  These peoples here eats solid foods, and some of them lives to be a good age.

Holloway: You don’t remember any Gullah words?

Sam Doyle: No, I really don’t.

Holloway: Do you remember any of your African ancestors who could count in their own language?

Sam Doyle: No, no.  I quess  No.

Holloway: Do you remember anyone who had African parents?

Sam Doyle: African parent.  I do believe that Ben Mack had African parents because he 101 years old.

Holloway: What’s his name again?

Sam Doyle: Ben Mack.[13]

Holloway: Do people still see spirits like they use to?

Sam Doyle: sense the automobile come, the spirits vanish.  There use to be nothing but ghost and spirits.

Holloway: Can you tell me about the old hags

Holloway: Can you tell me about the old spirits?

Sam Doyle: Jack O’ Lantern.  I see him

Holloway: Who is Jack O’ Lantern?

Sam Doyle: Jack O’ Lantern suppose to be an old man who fish at night. I  seen him with my brother and another boy about four miles from here.  I did not know who he was but they told me.  He has two nose, two heads and ghostly eyes.

Holloway: You seen them all?

Sam Doyle: Yeah, I see him.

Holloway: How come people don’t see him today?

Sam Doyle: Since the automobile come into possession, all the spirits left.  When the automobile come the automobile brought the lights and with the coming of lights all the spirits left never to come back again.  They all just went away.[14]

Holloway: As soon as modern technology came all the spirits left.

Sam Doyle: Yeah, the spirits left. It was nothing but spirits around in those days.  You could be walking and the spirits would just be hugging you and people could see it and people who could see it did.  You be walking on a journey people would just walk away from you because they could see the spirits hugging you.   I had an Aunt Gert and no body wanted to walk with her after dark.  You walking and she steps back and the ghost touch you.  You can see the ghost, but she can.  Ever my mother could see ghosts.

Holloway:  Why did the spirits leave? 

Sam Doyle: The spirits leave with the coming of the automobile because that’s all they could see. I don’t know if it was the lights or the automobile itself.  I guess the time was up.

Holloway: Where there good and bad spirits? 

Sam Doyle: It was good spirits and bad spirits.  There would be spirits that would lead you into the river and make you drown yourself, and some spirits would not mess with you, and some spirits that would throw their heads at you. 

[1] Interview with Mr. Sam Doyle on January 20, 1984 in Frogmore, South Carolina, now known as St. Helena, South Carolina.

[2] This has not been verified in the historical literature.  According to Edith Dabbs, President Lincoln had issued an official proclamation for the first time to the thousand of ex-slaves gathered to hear it on platform under an immense live Oak tree.  Thomas Wentworth Higginson, commander of the Black Regiment in the Sea Island, wrote that he received the President’s Second Message of Emancipation and that he read it to the men. Obviously, this oral testimony either became corrupted in time of the event was misunderstood by the Pablo River, who heard Lincoln’s message being read by Colonel Higginson.  See Edith M. Dabbs, Sea Island Diary: A History of St. Helena   The reprint company, publishers: Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1983, p. 171, and Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Army Life in a Black Regiment (Boston, 1890), p.40.

[3] Emory Campbell on Hilton Head Island recalled that his great aunt told him how these illegal Africans were unloaded in covered wagons so as to conceal the smugglers’s activities from the authorities.  As late as 1862, Miss Towne noticed that one woman from Gabriel Eddings’ Plantation had been brought directly from Africa.  Her face was tattooed and she was of more “vigorous stock” [sic] than the others.  In our search for Mr. Wallace and his illegal activities of smuggling enslaved Africans is found in the Stat Stature which revealed that L. R. Wallace on February 19, 1829 incurred penalties for slave trading.  Those Africans who remained on the Wallace Plantation gave the community a very strong post war African presence prior to the devastation of the hurricane of 1893.

[4] Puckett observed among the Gullah in 1925 that children of dead parents were passed over the coffin.  This ritual appears not to be of African American origin and there appeared to have been no corresponding African custom.  This practice is not as common as it was in the past years but it is still practiced from Georgetown to Savannah. All my informants recalled witnessing this custom recently. None of the old people knew or remembered why they did this, except a local minister who declared that young children are passed over the coffin of the dead person to prevent the spirit of the parent or loved one from entering the body of the child.  “If the child is very young and don’t understand what has happened their soul is still without identity and the dead spirit can enter the body of the child causing it harm.  Children can hear the voices of the dead, especially if they where close to the individual which had died.” 

[5] Sam Doyle described using the stick like a spear to kill the rabbits and other animals.

[6] In identifying this African root plant we know that Tania is a root plant that appears to be indigenous to Central Africa.  There are two known varieties; one called old coco-yam (colocasia antiquorum) called Tania in Central Africa, eddo in the West Indies and koko in Ghana and in Nigeria.  Coco-yam (Tania) probably originated in the Kongo basin as one of the indigenous food stuffs.  The earliest citation in reference to Tania on the African continent made by the Portuguese in the fifteenth century. The other variety is called coco-yam Tania (Xanthosoma Sagitifolium). See Sir Harry Johnston, George Grenfell and the Congo London: Hutchison Co., 1908, p. 600, volume II, and F. R. Irvine, A Text-Book of West African Agriculture Soils, Oxford University Press,  Publisher: Humphrey Milford, 1934, pp. 135-141.

[7] Turn meal and flour in South Carolina is the American revision of the African fufu.  Fufu in Twi means a little white thing.  Common food throughout African and the New World, consisting of yams, plantains, and cassava root (manioc, tapioca) cut into pieces and boiled together; maize or Indian corn beaten into one mass and eaten with pepper, boiled in a pot with okra.  A substantial dish of fufu is composed of eddoes, ochas, and mashed plantains made savory with rich crabs and pungent with cayenne pepper. In South Carolina called “turn meal and flour.”  A mixture of cornmeal and flour is poured into a pot of boiling water.  From this fufu mixture enslaved Africans made “hoe cakes” in the fields.  This later evolved into “pancakes” and “hot water cornbread.”

[8] Gumbo in West and Central African languages mean any soup with okra.   In Tshiluba it is called kingombo, in Umbundu ochingombo.  Gumbo was known to most southerners by the 1780s.  By 1805, a soup made of okra pods, shrimp, and powder sassafras leaves.  Gumbo file and gumbo maile made of pulverized okra stem.

[9] Abelmoschus escuentus, also called guibo and guimyombo. Originated in what geobotanists call the -Abyssinian (Ethiopian) center of origin.  Cultivated in present-day Ethiopia, plateau portion of Eritrea, and parts of the Sudan.

[10] In these folktales, Brer Rabbit represents the powerless enslaved Africans, who use their minds to survival in ‘Masa” world.  Brer Bear and Fox symbolize the power of the masters.  Vicarious experiences the enslaved person is able to create mental space to confront Masa without him ever knowing their true feelings.

[11] Bantu Ngola, an ethnic group in Angola.  Refers to African Americans living in the Sea Islands and regions of South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Florida.  Also refers to their language.

[12] Originally meant an African from the Guinea coast.  Later it meant a black who was not yet acculturated in American culture.  By 1789, it applied to Africans brought to Ogeechee River plantation in Georgia under coercion to become acculturated as southern Americans.

[13] Ben Mack was the oldest living man on the island, who survived the great devastation caused by the tidal wave and hurricane which hit St. Helena Island in 1893, destroying crops and livestock and killing over 2000 person, he died at age 105.

[14] As late as the 1920s the islands were inaccessible except by boat because of the many rivers, creeks, and marshes.  Some bridge construction was started about 1915 but it was not until 1940 that most of the islands had direct access to the mainland.  The bridges mark an end of an era of isolation.  The bridges brought the cars, and the cars brought the lights and the spirits died.