The family and I are going to Charleston, South Carolina for March break. Why Charleston? Well, we wanted to go somewhere warm but going to see the parents in Jamaica or the Bahamas was too expensive so we looked at warmer alternatives…
I had recently read Canadian author Lawrence Hill‘s amazing book, The Book of Negroes which tells the story of a Aminata Diallo, a young African woman who gets ripped from her West African village by American slavers. She arrives and is sold in Charleston and lives a big chunk of her life there. Well, it turns out that the descendants of the people with whom she lived, called the Gullah, have kept much of their culture intact to this day and live off Charleston on the Gullah Islands.
So what’s the social media connection? Well, one of things that has so impressed me about the unconferences I’ve attended and the people who organize them is that they make a point of using social media to hook up with people physically whenever they can. So, I have been trying to find a Gullah blogger to hook up with for an inside tour. However, I did a Google search last night and didn’t find anything which disappointed but didn’t surprise me. It didn’t surprise me because an African-American friend of mine tells me that, unfortunately, Gullah culture isn’t the only thing that has remained intact from slavery days: poverty also has. So my fruitless Google search may illustrate one of the glaring issues with social media: those who do it are firmly on the wealthy side of the digital divide.
I will continue the search before we go and when we’re there…..
To learn more about Gullah culture check out this web site.