top of page
  • Ron Daise

Geechee Literature Series

Updated: Feb 15

I packaged my books as “Geechee Literature Series” to affirm the term as viable and not an oxymoron. In years past, the expressions “Geechee” and “Gullah” were considered as insulting and as a speech way that should be corrected. Under no terms, it was believed, should it qualify as literature. Literature, however, is defined by Britannica as “a body of imaginative works of poetry and prose distinguished by the intentions of their authors and the perceived aesthetic excellence of their execution.” Literature produces a pleasing or enriching effect and expresses a worldview.



My Geechee Literature Series begins with two novellas, We Wear the Mask, Unraveled Truths in a Pre-Gullah Community and Turtle Dove Done Drooped His Wings, A Gullah Tale of Fight or Flight. They showcase Gullah Geechee as a living culture, with speech ways, beliefs, customs, crafts, and spiritual practices that are contemporary and can be observed daily. The characters, settings, and storylines are not linked.


Joseph McGill, Jr., founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, and history and culture coordinator, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC, said about Geechee Literature Series - Book 1:

“Ron Daise offers readers a modern-day “Slave Narrative.” We Wear the Mask, Unraveled Truths in a Pre-Gullah Community is storytelling at its finest, interpreting history and the cruelties of chattel slavery in a way that is compelling. The Gullah speech, practices, and hopes of characters in Slave Row are authentic. Historical references are factual. And Ron’s use of animals, a carryover of a tradition passed on to Gullah people by their African ancestors, is magical. A must-read!”


I created it during summer 2020, as our country reckoned with racial injustice amidst the brutal murders of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. I explored how racial intolerance became rooted in America and how this country’s cyclical trend of allegiance to white supremacy could be overcome. The story’s conclusion promotes that a changed narrative is key. The book review by Hester G. McFadden (Retired Educator), NECSSTEP National Educational Consulting Services (Consultant), assured me that this was accomplished:

“Ron Daise has masterfully crafted a fable embracing nuances of African Traditional storytelling, African American experiences, and low country Gullah history reflecting an era of surviving the day-to-day perils of the enslaved. This fable exposes all who cover up their true feelings for the sake of surviving as well as motives of people who seek to deny others social and political freedom and justice. A must-read for High School Literature and History related courses of study.”





About Geechee Literature Series - Book 2, Michele Moore, author of The Cigar Factory: A Novel of Charleston, said:

“Ron Daise has created a delightful celebration of Gullah-Geechee wisdom in this allegorical tale set amid an enchanted maritime forest and its surrounding salt marsh. Turtle Dove Done Drooped His Wings introduces readers to the newly established Audubon Rookery, where the Great Council of Birds has gathered to come to a consensus that will shape their future and decide how best to preserve their past for the benefit of future generations.  The interpersonal dynamics, miscommunications, and hidden agendas of the various council members will ring true with anyone who has ever served on any sort of planning committee. The members of The Great Council of Birds are at times wry, wise, funny, forgiving and kind—and utterly contemporary.”


The first of the two allegorical tales I completed, it was begun in spring 2020 as the known world became plagued with coronavirus fears and fatalities. It was inspired by my years of service as a charter member and former chairman of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.


My hope for Geechee Literature Series is expressed by Sunn m’Cheaux, Professor of Gullah, Harvard University, in an excerpt of his Foreword to We Wear the Mask. He wrote, “The keen character development and Gullah language dialogue brought to mind personal friends and relatives in place of the characters. Readers familiar with Lowcountry living will catch the colloquialisms and be delighted to hear many phrases that we’re accustomed to hearing only in conversations amongst ourselves. Yet, one does not have to be a Lowcountry native or speaker of our colorful dialects to immerse oneself in this moral tale. While spoken from the mouths of birds, this story gives voice to innate human dilemmas.”


Geechee Literature Series Books 1 and 2 are available at www.amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback. For autographed copies, visit www.Etsy.com/shop/GeecheeLiterature. We Wear the Mask, Unraveled Truths in a Pre-Gullah Community also is available at www.audible.com, with me as narrator.


I plan to add other writings to the Geechee Literature Series. These will include

republications of my books that are out-of-print:

Reminiscences of Sea Island Heritage, Legacy of Freedmen on St. Helena Island

De Gullah Storybook (fa laarn fa count from 1-10)

Little Muddy Waters, A Gullah Folk Tale

Gullah Branches, West African Roots and

Gullah Geechee Wisdom Cards and Guidebook

Each continues to showcase the African retentions and traditions of contemporary Gullah Geechee culture and their connections with communities of the African Diaspora.


7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page