The Ethnic Tip

As I am delving further into Cultural Studies, I am finding out some interesting things. So as I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in my blog, I have to do a service learning project. At times, these projects are geared towards social justice, meaning that awareness is brought to problems and resources are provided to address those problems. In my Cultural Studies class, we learned about the Highlander Research and Education Center, through assigned readings, a presentation made by our professor and this engaging film called, You Got to Move. For over an hour I sat there mesmerized as I watched the documentary of how Highlander was utilized to mobilize against different injustices that occurred not only in Appalachia, but in other places, particularly the Jim Crow South. Highlander actually reminded me of Penn Center on Saint Helena Island in South Carolina. I interned there a couple of summers, so I know a bit about it.

The Penn School was founded in 1862, three years before the end of the American Civil War. This normal school was a part of the Port Royal Experiment, which I kind of allude to in my book, Marshland. These philanthropists, abolitionist, and missionaries came to Beaufort after the Confederates were run off by Union soldiers. Their purpose was to prepare former slaves for freedom by teaching them to read and to learn trades. Like the Highlander, the Penn Center served as a safe place during the Civil Rights Movement where Black and White folks could convene, organize, and strategize in peace. In fact, Martin Luther King and Southern Christian Leadership Conference visited both sites. Today, the social justice purpose of Penn Center (What it is called today) is focused on preserving the Gullah culture in spite of the rapid development taking place on the Sea Islands.

One more thing before I sign off: So as I am writing this blog – in my sleep deprived state – I am strongly reminded of a particular The Fresh Prince of Bel Air Episode. Yes, I know that this is taking me off on a serious tangent, but not really. There is this episode that was first aired in 1991 (and a part of my VHS collection) called The Ethnic Tip where Vivian Banks, played by Janet Hubert, was teaching a Black History Course at Bel Air Academy. To my shock and delight, she assigns her nephew, Will Smith (Will Smith) and son, Carlton Banks (Alfonso Ribeiro) a paper on The Port Royal Experiment and the Penn School. If you want to see what episode I am talking about, you can view it here . I guess I am finding it necessary to mention The Ethnic Tip because as crazy as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air could be, it had some pretty good messages and I respect the fact that they even did an episode on such important institution of American History. I mean really, how many people actually know about places like Highlander and Penn Center?

Anyway, I am not going to give away the details, in case you have never seen it, but I will say that Aunt Viv, wouldn’t have had to tell me twice to do a 15 page paper. She might have even gotten one that was 25 pages. IJS.


The Reviews for “Marshland” and “The Promise of Palmettos” are In!

If you are still not convinced that you should give Marshland and The Promise of Palmettos a read, check out reviews.

Marshland now on Amazon!

Interview with an Author

Check out the Palmetto Author’s Blog Tour! I had the priviledge of being interviewed by Evolving Elle, who did a wonderful job of outlining my writing journey. Check it out as well as other blog topics.

Southern Girl in the City

Wife. Mother. Teacher. Urban Planner. Author.

These are just a few words that describe novelist Sheryse Noelle DuBose.   With always having dreams of being a writer, Sheryse decided to hit the ground running when she stopped teaching to pursue her dreams of writing full-time.  Her upcoming book, Marshland, will be released this Friday, which also happens to be her birthday.  “My newest novel is fictional, but I received the inspiration from my family’s story,” Sheryse states.  “Marshland is set during the Civil War and tells the story of a slave family that escapes the mainland (of South Carolina) and flees to Pickney Island then to Hilton Head Island.  The family meets various people along the way-some who are friendly and some that are not.”  As a native of Hilton Head Island, SC, Sheryse has always been fascinated with life in the Lowcountry.  While teaching U.S. History, Sheryse discovered the…

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Introducing “Marshland!”


At the start of the Civil War, a slave family escapes from a plantation outside of Beaufort, South Carolina, living off the land as taught by their ancestors. When their comfortable life is suddenly disrupted by an unfortunate encounter with a Union Army Soldier causing them to flee again, these ex-slaves fear that being caught and sent back to their owners is the least of their worries. As the family makes their way from the mainland of the South Carolina Low Country, to Pinckney Island, and finally to Hilton Head Island, they encounter many ex-slaves along the way. However, Luther, the head of the family, takes people as they come finding that some are able to help, while others, even the most trustworthy, can cause hurt. Will this family finally make it to freedom or will their trouble finally catch up to them?

Two Month Countdown

Are you from the Low Country? Do you have a love for History? Are you a Civil War Buff? Do you enjoy a good mystery? My new novel, Marshland has all of the above for you to read and enjoy two months from today. I’m so excited!




Chapter 1

Three bloody holes quickly soaked the blue uniform of the fallen union soldier and spilled onto the hay covered floor. It was an unexpected end to his life. Not on a battlefield, but in an abandoned barn.
“Papa, is he really dead?” Eleven-year-old Jane asked her father.
Instead of answering her, Luther turned to his older daughter, who was fifteen and urgently whispered, “Diana, take your sister back to camp.”
Traumatized and disheveled, Diana could not move a muscle. She just stood there staring at the bloody body. Luther needed to work quickly because he knew that someone would soon be looking for this white man. The only way he and his family could survive was if he made the body disappear. But he couldn’t do it in front of his little girls. They had already seen too much.
“Diana!” Luther snapped. “Go now!”
Diana suddenly came back to attention, grabbed her sister by the hand and the two rushed out into the dewy morning. Luther waited until his daughters were out of sight before he grabbed the dead man by his feet, which were covered with worn and holey shoes, and dragged him out of the barn towards the marsh several yards away. He selected a spot beneath a grove of Palmetto trees near the creek. Luther stared at the body for a moment with contempt. His whole life he encountered people who thought that everything belonged to them. His freedom. His father’s land. His daughter’s virtue. This man was no different. Today, for a change, something was taken from him. His life.
Luther snapped out of his reverie and got to work. Luther hurried back to the barn to grab a shovel and the pitchfork to take back to the grove of palmetto trees. Once back at the body, Luther dug up the sandy soil of the makeshift burial site. After digging for almost an hour, the hole was finally deep enough. Luther dragged the corpse to the grave and dumped it in. The dead man hit the earth with a solid thud. After covering the hole, Luther took the incriminating pitchfork that served as the murder weapon and tossed it into the marsh. Then he took the palmetto leaves from a nearby tree and used it to wipe away his and the girls’ footprints, as well as the drag marks. Hearing the rustling movement of the underbrush, Luther sensed that his time was up. He needed to get his family out of there immediately. The consequences of being caught were too frightening to think about.