Frank Major Sr., a commercial crab fisherman, checks his traps for blue crab and stone crab.
Photos © 2011 Denise McGill
St. Helena Island is a magical place on the South Carolina coastline. African Americans have farmed and fished here for centuries: first as plantation slaves, then as freedmen owning small subsistence operations. It’s now one of the last farming communities on the East Coast that hasn’t been swallowed up by development.
This week catch up with the residents of St. Helena Island by way of photographs and video interviews by clicking on the photograph above.
“It wasn’t a sport, it wasn’t a game, it was for food and I didn’t realize how good it was until I left.” – Ben C. Johnson Jr.
This week on The Gullah Project, Mr. Johnson shares with the team his love for crabbing on St. Helena Island. Watch this interview at http://thegullahproject.org/photo-gallery/ben-c-johnson-jr/ or by clicking on the photograph above.
“The thing about this Gullah style cooking is when you get a chance, you got to be able to use all your senses.” Says Bill Green the owner of The Gullah Grub a restaurant located on St. Helena Island that specializes in authentic LoCountry cooking. To learn more about the The Gullah Grub Restaurant and to see an exclusive interview with Bill Green click on the photograph above.
“I love shrimping, I rather do it then anything, it’s an honest living, it’s hard work, it’s enjoyable.” -Craig Dopson
Dopson’s Seafood run and operated since 1975 by Craig and Darlene Dopson is one of the last public docks located on St. Helena Island. Here they provide a service to shrimpers acting as a middle man by buying the shrimp then selling the produce to wholesalers. To learn more about this slowly fading business click on the photograph above.
The Gullah Project team hopes the weather holds out for everyone attending the Beaufort Shrimp Festival today and tomorrow at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Downtown Beaufort.
Purchase food & drink tickets for $1 each
to use at restaurant, beer & wine, and soda booths
Items cost 2 – 7 tickets
For more information about this event please visit http://www.downtownbeaufort.com/beaufort-shrimp-festival
After months of waiting today begins the first day of oyster season along the South Carolina coast.
Oyster season usually runs from September to April and can be easily remembered because oysters are only in season during months with the letter “r” in them.
It’s also important to remember that recreational harvesters must have a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License from the state and should also obtain an updated map found at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/shellfish/shellfishmaps.
Last week Buz Kloot and Denise McGill were honored at Broadcast Education Association (BEA) District 2 Regional Conference, where their film “A Better Place: St. Helena, South Carolina” won second place in the Faculty Video Production Competition.
Kloot and McGill were co-directors and co-producers for the project, which was released in 2012. It’s an honor to have their previous work recognized by their peers.
Gullah: The Voice of an Island is a new website about the music of the Gullah people of South Carolina, focusing on the spirituals and praise houses. It has been established by faculty and students at Coastal Carolina University in
Many Gullah spirituals retain much of their West African heritage. Like TheGullahProject.org, Voice of an Island worked alongside the Penn Center, recording over 80 hours of spirituals and stories. For more about the backstory, read the article in CCU Magazine.
Organizers of The Voice of an Island plan to continue collecting material over the next few years. To learn more and stay updated on this fascinating project, please visit their official webpage at http://theathenaeumpress.com/gullah/#home.
Since 1947, Chuck Henry has been a dairy and produce farmer on St. Helena Island. Click on the photograph above to join The Gullah Project team as we sit down with Mr. Henry to learn about the rich history of this tight-knit community.
Oyster season starts Oct. 1. The Gullah Project team got an early look at oyster processing from Roddy Beasly owner of Maggioni Seafood, a local business on the island. Click on the photograph above to go behind the scenes of oyster processing.