Catching Sense: African American Communities on a South Carolina Sea Island (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 1996 - History - 144 pages
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Plantation membership, an important association that continues to carry meaning in today's African-American communities on the Sea Islands, depends on one's residence between the ages of two and 12. This is the time when one "catches sense," or learns the difference between right and wrong and the meaning of social relationships. Plantation membership confers rights and duties to its members for life, particularly in the areas of dispute settlement, adjudication, and status confirmation. The praise house system, which was the focal point of plantation life, is analyzed historically and in terms of the ethnographic present. Guthrie, an African-American anthropologist, believes that much of what she witnessed on St. Helena during her field research was a response to the experience of slavery when identity was derived from plantation residency rather than from mother, father, or place of birth.
  

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Contents

St Helena Today
11
Life in the Plantation Community
21
Catching Sense
31
If the Walls Could Talk
41
Household Composition
57
Love One Dollar and Affection
79
The Praise House System
89
Social Meaning and Social Order
111
Afterword
119
Bibliography
125
Index
137
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

PATRICIA GUTHRIE is director of the Women's Studies Program at California State University, Hayward, where she is Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development.

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