“Programs Providing Cultural Identity and Celebration….”
“Down by the Riverside” & Other Spirituals”
Sing along with Ron Daise, and learn Gullah songs that shaped the culture. From sorrow songs to baptism, code message, children’s, work, and funeral songs, participants will gain an understanding and an appreciation for Gullah Geechee heritage. Information from groundbreaking books about Gullah culture, Charles Joyner’s Down by the Riverside: A South Carolina Slave Community (1984), and Daise’s books, Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage (1986) and Gullah Branches, West African Roots (2005), as well as personal insights will be featured. Come ready to sing, clap, stomp, enjoy!
“Gullah Geechee-mania!” Game One or Game Two
Entertaining and educational, each “Gullah Geechee—mania!” program is an interactive, cultural game show that informs viewers about the unique Gullah Geechee culture and heritage of the southeastern coastal United States. Each guest becomes a “contestant” who will gain “points” for answering questions about Gullah Geechee people, songs, history, culture, foods, and trivia. “Participants may discover they know more about the topic than they have given themselves credit for,” Daise said. “Nonetheless, they will realize how greatly Gullah Geechee culture has impacted the American cultural landscape.”
Gullah Geechee Connections
Daise presents stories, songs, and original poetry that lead viewers on a journey exploring the connections of West African heritage with Gullah Geechee culture and the ties that bind cultures of the African Diaspora. Breathtaking photographs of Ghanaian lifestyles, children, culture, slave dungeons and scenic beauty showcase cultural connections with Gullah Geechee communities of the southeastern United States.
“Gullah Geechee Rhythms”
Utilizing audience-participation in singing and storytelling, Gullah performer, author, and historian Ron Daise identifies 10 memorable ways to recall the importance and significance of Gullah Geechee heritage. Cultural touchstones about which he informs include the origins of Gullah Geechee heritage, beliefs, songs, language, and folkways. Pictures, music, personal reflections, and lecture are interwoven throughout stanzas to the tune of a well-known Gullah coded message song. Audience members affirm each touchstone by responding “Dats right, I am a Gullah/A saltwata Geechee Gullah”, lyrics from an original Daise tune that celebrates the importance of music to Gullah Geechee heritage.
“Gullah Lessons on Family, History, and Respect”
Ron Daise captivates listeners as he informs about Gullah Geechee history and narrates his book, Little Muddy Waters, a Gullah Folk Tale. The story unwinds as hardheaded Little Muddy Waters gets into everything and does everything he is told not to do. Although his grandmother tries to teach him Gullah traditions and beliefs, Little Muddy Waters learns a lesson he will never forget. In call-and-response delivery, Daise engages viewers to “respect yo elders and do what’s right!” Daise informs about Gullah customs, folkways, language, and values in an entertaining, endearing, and educational format.
“O, Freedom Ova Me!”
A compelling program of Selected Readings, Songs & Photographs from Daise’s book Gullah Branches, West African Roots intrigues viewers to investigate the themes of “Home,” “Horror,” “Heritage,” and “Hope”as they reflect on and learn about the journey of enslaved Africans to Gullah Geechee communities. Each theme chronicles Daise’s visits to the West African countries of Ghana and Sierra Leone and the similarities he witnessed with his birthplace of St. Helena Island, SC, and surrounding Gullah Geechee communities. His experiences are retold through original lyrics to the tunes of old spirituals learned during Daise’s childhood.
“Priscilla’s Posse: A Press Conference about Gullah Heritage”
Through songs, lectures and photographs, Daise recounts the historical visit of Thomalind Martin Polite of North Charleston to Sierra Leone, West Africa in May 2005. Polite is the 7th-generation descendant of “Priscilla,” a 10-year-old Sierra Leonean who was captured as a slave in 1756 and brought to a rice plantation in South Carolina. Cultural links with Gullah and Sierra Leone are explored: language, dietary practices, crafts, rice production, and the Bunce Island Slave Castle. The performance will cite exhibits along the Brookgreen Gardens Lowcountry Trail.
NOTE: Upon arrival, five (5) patrons arbitrarily will be given questions to ask during the presentation and to participate as “reporters” during the “scripted” Press Conference.
An interactive, cultural game show, “Tinkabouts” presents options forparticipants to consider or, “tinkabout.” Each guest becomes a “contestant” whowill gain “points” for answering questions about Gullah Geechee people, songs, history, culture, foods, and trivia. “It’s a new program with a slightly different focus from other game shows I’ve created and presented,” Daise said. “It’s entertaining and educational and will inspire you about the contributions of Gullah Geechee people to the American cultural fabric.”
Each Interactive Lecture Presentation is 60-minutes and requires the following TECHNICAL NEEDS:
- Laptop computer and projector (with remote control)
- Film screen
- Stand or Lapel microphone
- Lectern or podium