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Women’s History Month Event: Women in Anthropology Past and Present

Two thousand twenty three is the third year we will host a Women's History Month event for our Gullah Campfire Supper with Stories and Songs experience. The first year our speaker was Sará Reynolds Green owner of Marshview Organic Farm who along with her husband Bill Green owner and chef at the Gullah Grub began preparing and serving free meals in the community during the pandemic.

Last year our theme was Women of the Movement. Guest speakers were two sisters from Charleston, SC who have been actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement for many years and continue even today.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina Minerva Brown King graduated from Burke High School and went on to earn the B. A. Degree in sociology from Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri. She continued her education at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) In Tuskegee, Alabama and Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio. She received the Master of Science Degree in Library Science from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. She received the Masters Plus 30 Hours from the Citadel in Charleston and in 2007 received National Board Certification in the field of Library Media.

A former social worker and counselor, Ms. King worked as a librarian, library manager, library media specialist and adjunct professor for a total of 35 years. Since 1992 she has devoted herself to the art of storytelling, using this art for educational and entertainment purposes.

Retiring from St. John’s High School on Johns Island after 18 years, Ms. King now divides her time and talent between her multicultural storytelling business and various civic and religious organizations.

This year our theme is Women in Anthropology Past and Present. Our guest speaker is Pasama Cole-Kweli, a Ph.D. candidate in cultural anthropology at the University of Kentucky and a UNITE Predoctoral Fellow. Her ethnographic research examines race, place, and changing ecological relationships in the wake of the climate crisis. Her ongoing dissertation project engages these dynamics in the U.S. Southeast, where sea-level rise, gentrification, and widespread land loss rapidly transform historic Gullah Geechee Sea Island Communities. 

Pasama earned a Bachelor’s of Science at The University of Tampa and Masters of Arts at the University of Kentucky. She is an executive board member of the Association of Black Anthropologists, and the co-editor of the Museum Anthropology journal’s special issue Black Museum Anthropology. Her passion for environmentalism stems from her upbringing on her family’s farm in Pembroke Township, Illinois. Ultimately, she aims to use her scholarship to contribute to climate solutions that prioritize equity and restorative justice.

During this event you will hear Ms. Cole-Kweli share her stories of field study in various locations including Zambia, and how the work of Zora Neale Hurston inspired her and influenced her decision to choose the field of anthropology.  

You will also hear of her work in the Sea Island Gullah communities along the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor.  We will highlight Zora Neale Hurston’s 1940 field visit to Beaufort SC along with mention of her literary works. To celebrate Ms. Hurston’s love of music and inclusion of Negro songs in her work, several songs from various genres during the 1920’s to the 1950’s will be performed.  

Zora Hurston was a world-renowned writer and anthropologist. Hurston’s novels, short stories, and plays often depicted African American life in the South. Her work in anthropology examined black folklore. Hurston influenced many writers, forever cementing her place in history as one of the foremost female writers of the 20th century.

And of course the Supper for the evening will be prepared by Mrs. Sherry Johnson, owner and head cook at the Gullah Express Food Truck will serve a delicious farm to table meal of local Gullah favorites including her very popular crab bites. From the farm we will add some of our greens, and desserts.  This will be a cultural outdoor experience you won’t want to miss! 

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