God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia

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9780385493772: God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man: A Saltwater Geechee Talks About Life on Sapelo Island, Georgia

Equal parts cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life--that of the Geechee Indians of Sapelo Island-- that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one’s homeland.

Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bailey’s people are the Geechee, whose cultural identity has been largely preserved due to the relative isolation of Sapelo, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. In this rich account, Bailey captures the experience of growing up in an island community that counted the spirits of its departed among its members, relied on pride and ingenuity in the face of hardship, and taught her firsthand how best to reap the bounty of the marshes, woods and ocean that surrounded her. The power of this memoir to evoke the life of Sapelo Island is remarkable, and the history it preserves is invaluable.

“A special book that reveals the unconquerable spirit of a people who, though torn from their African homeland, imprinted America with a unique culture that continues to endure.” --Ebony

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Review:

It has been said that the Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were completely stripped of their native culture. But pioneering scholars such as anthropologist Melville Herskovits have disproved this in academia, while the literature of Zora Neale Hurston and Ralph Ellison has also debunked this persistent myth. Living proof of that fact is Sapelo Island, a South Sea island off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, where West African traditions persist despite considerable odds. This vivid memoir by Cornelia Walker Bailey, a lecturer and tour guide on Sapelo Island, transports the reader to this enchanted land of miracles and magic.

Walker is a self-described "Geechee," a descendant of Islamic African slaves taken from modern-day Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Liberia (she traces her family lineage on the island back to 1803). In God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man, the author brings alive a land where black people speak an African-based Creole language, believe in "mojo" (the American equivalent of Haitian voodoo), and who work to keep their culture alive. "You can think of the Africans as being victims, and in a sense they were" she writes. "But they were also great survivors. If they survived the Middle Passage, and a lot of people didn't, then they survived everything thrown at them. They were determined people." Thanks in large part to Bailey, this determination lives on. But her book, which recalls life on Sapelo Island from the 1940s and rings with the same ebullient language found in Jean Toomer's Cane, also serves as a warning, noting that outside business interests and the disinterest of the youth threaten the very existence of their ancient ways. "We need to be proud of our ancestors from slavery days and of our old people who went through modern hardships and to learn from them that if you believe in something, strength comes from that." With this book, she hopes to pass some of that strength on. --Eugene Holley Jr.

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cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one’s homeland.

Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bailey’s people are the Geechee, whose cultural identity has been largely preserved due to the relative isolation of Sapelo, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. In this rich account, Bailey captures the experience of growing up in an island community that counted the spirits of its departed among its members, relied on pride and ingenuity in the face of hardship, and taught her firsthand how best to reap the bounty of the marshes, woods and ocean that surrounded her. The power of this memoir to evoke the life of Sapelo Island is remarkable, and the history it preserves is invaluable.

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Book Description Anchor Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Equal parts cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life--that of the Geechee Indians of Sapelo Island-- that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one s homeland. Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bailey s people are the Geechee, whose cultural identity has been largely preserved due to the relative isolation of Sapelo, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. In this rich account, Bailey captures the experience of growing up in an island community that counted the spirits of its departed among its members, relied on pride and ingenuity in the face of hardship, and taught her firsthand how best to reap the bounty of the marshes, woods and ocean that surrounded her. The power of this memoir to evoke the life of Sapelo Island is remarkable, and the history it preserves is invaluable. A special book that reveals the unconquerable spirit of a people who, though torn from their African homeland, imprinted America with a unique culture that continues to endure. --Ebony. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780385493772

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Book Description Anchor Books, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Equal parts cultural history and memoir, God, Dr. Buzzard, and the Bolito Man recounts a traditional way of life--that of the Geechee Indians of Sapelo Island-- that is threatened by change, with stories that speak to our deepest notions of family, community, and a connection to one s homeland. Cornelia Walker Bailey models herself after the African griot, the tribal storytellers who keep the history of their people. Bailey s people are the Geechee, whose cultural identity has been largely preserved due to the relative isolation of Sapelo, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia. In this rich account, Bailey captures the experience of growing up in an island community that counted the spirits of its departed among its members, relied on pride and ingenuity in the face of hardship, and taught her firsthand how best to reap the bounty of the marshes, woods and ocean that surrounded her. The power of this memoir to evoke the life of Sapelo Island is remarkable, and the history it preserves is invaluable. A special book that reveals the unconquerable spirit of a people who, though torn from their African homeland, imprinted America with a unique culture that continues to endure. --Ebony. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780385493772

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