The Promise of Palmettos is celebrating its one year Anniversary on October 12,2013. In celebration of this milestone event, The Promise of Palmettos with be absolutely free for that one day on Kindle.
I think that is fair to say that it’s been more than a few weeks since I’ve posted on my blog. I actually have a good reason for that. I am going to school for my PHd. So add The University of Tennessee to my list of schools. My degree is going to be in education with a concentration in – wait for it – Cultural Studies. It’s a lot of work, this first semester. There are a lot of reading assignments and class discussions. Then I have to find time to publish journal articles (be on the look out for mine at some point), not to mention thinking about my topic for my dissertation. If you know me, it will be something about the Gullah-Geechee Culture. In addition to that, as a Cultural Studies student, I have to do service learning projects, where I give my time outside of the university to perform services that give back to the community. It’s actually a good concept because it gives students field experience rather than keeping us buried in our books. So I had been wracking my brains trying to figure out what to do. How do I tie my love of culture and history into a service learning project? Well believe it or not, the answer came to me in the form of my 8-year-old son. He always has what I call, “under the radar” knowledge. It’s that he knows something but you don’t know that he knows. But when this kid shows you what he knows in that nonchalant way of his, I don’t know about anyone else, but you can knock me over with a feather. So my eight-year-old and I were reviewing vocabulary and the word was “sew.” I asked him to tell me what it meant. So my 8-year-old responds, “You know when Granny Janie (he makes a sewing gesture) pulled the ‘string’ through the cloth?” Through my tears I told him that was exactly what she had done. I could barely hear my own voice when I asked him what the “string” was called. I couldn’t believe he remembered that Granie Janie sewed quilts. First, she was my grandmother and his great-grandmother. Secondly, she passed away when he was 5-years-old. The other thing that got to me was the impact that my grandmother had made on my son. I’m grateful for his memories. Who knows what else my grandmother left with him? Or as my father always says, and maybe he is right, “This child has been here before.” Anyway, I began to realize that everytime someone passes on, a bit of history dies with them…That is if they hadn’t passed it down to the next generation. Just yesterday in my sociology class, we discussed the fact that history courses are disappearing to make way for new subjects that would supposedly catapult us further into the 21st Century. But our history is important too and I wish that people would not forget that. After all, ef oona ent know weh oona da qwibe, oona should kno weh oona kum from (If you don’t know where you’re going, you should know where you come from).
So my idea for my project is simple: People should talk to their grandparents or the oldest person they know and ask them to tell what life was like growing up. Then write it down in a journal. That way people can keep their own history and culture alive.
So I am going to try my best to juggle my school work and hopefully find time to blog. Who knows, maybe I’ll post a journal article or two 😉
Have you ever heard that song, Family Reunion by the O’Jays? That song always takes me back to my younger days when my Dad would take us “next door” for our own family reunion. Back then, it was a one-day cookout beneath the shade trees. I can still smell the meat on the grill and the aroma wafting from the covered dishes spread out on the tables. Music would be playing in the background as we kids ate, played, looked for our names on the family tree – near the bottom, and caught up with family. Our older family members always wanted to know who we belonged to. That question was easy enough to answer. But we better know who they were as well.
Then there was the story. My father was the first person to tell it to my sister and me over the dinner table. Then I heard it again during the reunion. The story went this way: During the Civil War, our ancestors fled their mainland plantation. When they arrived at the great water with the islands in the distance, they stuffed the mouths of the babies with cotton and swam on over. That was all that was known. No one knew of their actual experiences. That story died with them. But the tale of their flight has always stayed with me. It was my husband’s idea to create a novel that would fill-in-the-blanks, and that was how Marshland was born. I could have totally missed the mark with my interpretation and crazy imagination. Or maybe I was on the right track and my ancestors helped me with my story. I would like to think it was the later. So thank you ancestors for your bravery that would earn us our island legacy. I hope I did your story justice. If you want to know how we ended up on that vast property where we now eat, dance (Most likely to that O’Jays song), and enjoy our family, I invite you to read Marshland, on Amazon.
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.
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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