Gullah Slave History & Gullah Soul Food

Trip Start Jun 14, 2010
Trip End Jun 15, 2010

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Flag of United States  , South Carolina
Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I called to make reservations for my tour with Sites and Insights Tours before I left the hotel. I took the bus to downtown. On the way I  met Helene & Arno from Ithaca, NY. We arrived at the Charleston Visitor Center and walked to Alluette's Cafe. I introduced them to Alluette where she received them for lunch. Then I headed off to behind  the Visitor Center to meet the Al Miller of Sites and Insights Tours of Gullah culture. I found out about the tour from Alluette's Cafe. She had some brochures on display. 

Mr. Al Miller is the owner of the tour company and our tour guide. He is an excellent storyteller of Gullah folklore,  a singer, and a performer. His tour is funny, lively and engaging. We toured James Island, John's Island, Folly Beach, and downtown Charleston. Charleston has such a rich African American history. The city was built by slaves. We toured the plantations where the descendants of the slave families still live today. 
 When I saw the how the houses on the plantations were built it reminded me of the house in Reform, Al. This is the town of where my great-grandfather Robert Ball and his brother built homes. The grouping was the same. Home built behind another home. The style of the homes were the same. I felt a connection.

We stopped at the Angel Oak tree which grows sideways. According to Mr. Miller one psychic that toured the tree said that 108 people were buried there. It was the site of lynchings, rapes, and murders. It is said that you can see faces of people in the knots of the tree.  

 In front of the Angel Oak Tree Gift Shop  I purchased a Sweetgrass wreath from Andrea who weaves there on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Inside the Gift Shop I bought some tea from Kiawah Island. Kiawah Island has the only Tea Plantation in the USA.

We visited the marker of Goat Smalls the inspiration of Porgy and Bess and the grave of his mother. We learned about the place in Folly Beach where George Gershwin stayed during the time he studied the Gullah people. He wrote the musical Porgy and Bess in Folly Beach.

 After the tour I stopped in the Visitor Center and bought a Rose Sweetgrass handicraft. 
Then I went to Alluette's Cafe to feast on one of her Daily Specials of Fresh local Fried Shrimp with Organic Coleslaw and Handcut Fries. It was scrumptious. The fried shrimp were delectable. I could taste the freshness of the organic vegetables. The handcut fries were light and tasty. Eating holistic Gullah Soul Food is very comforting for the soul.

 Alluette had a copy of July issue of O Magazine which includes a photo and a mention of Alluette. It is a must read article. 

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crob on

wow, this looks really cool, I wish i could of went.

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