African American Life in the Georgia Lowcountry: The Atlantic World and the Gullah Geechee

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Philip Morgan
University of Georgia Press, Nov 1, 2011 - History - 311 pages
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The lush landscape and subtropical climate of the Georgia coast only enhance the air of mystery enveloping some of its inhabitants—people who owe, in some ways, as much to Africa as to America. As the ten previously unpublished essays in this volume examine various aspects of Georgia lowcountry life, they often engage a central dilemma: the region's physical and cultural remoteness helps to preserve the venerable ways of its black inhabitants, but it can also marginalize the vital place of lowcountry blacks in the Atlantic World.

The essays, which range in coverage from the founding of the Georgia colony in the early 1700s through the present era, explore a range of topics, all within the larger context of the Atlantic world. Included are essays on the double-edged freedom that the American Revolution made possible to black women, the lowcountry as site of the largest gathering of African Muslims in early North America, and the coexisting worlds of Christianity and conjuring in coastal Georgia and the links (with variations) to African practices.

A number of fascinating, memorable characters emerge, among them the defiant Mustapha Shaw, who felt entitled to land on Ossabaw Island and resisted its seizure by whites only to become embroiled in struggles with other blacks; Betty, the slave woman who, in the spirit of the American Revolution, presented a “list of grievances” to her master; and S'Quash, the Arabic-speaking Muslim who arrived on one of the last legal transatlantic slavers and became a head man on a North Carolina plantation.

Published in association with the Georgia Humanities Council.

  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Lowcountry Georgia and the Early Modern Atlantic World 1733ca 1820
13
Women of Color and the American Revolution in Lowcountry Georgia and South Carolina 17651783
48
EighteenthCentury Black Accounts of the Lowcountry
77
Africans Culture and Islam in the Lowcountry
103
Reports on Religion from the Georgia Lowcountry and West Africa 18341850
131
A gallery of illustrations follows page
105
Archaeology of Slavery in Coastal Georgia
151
The African American Challenge to the Confederate Project in Civil WarEra Savannah
188
The great cry of our people is land Black Settlement and Community Development on Ossabaw Island Georgia 18651900
224
The Flying Africans Story and Its Enduring Legacy
253
Unmasking My Gullah Cultural Heritage
281
Contributors
293
Index
295
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Philip Morgan is Harry C. Black Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University. His book Slave Counterpoint: Black Culture in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake and Lowcountry won the Bancroft Prize and a number of other prestigious awards. His recent books include Black Experience and the Empire and Arming Slaves: From Classical Times to the Modern Age.

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