Series 2
Sea Islands research files, 1895-2016
Boxes 9 - 20, OP 1 - 2, BV 1 - 2, and AV 2

Scope and Content Note

The series consists of files documenting J. Herman Blake's research on the culture of the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, particularly Daufuskie Island, from 1895-2016 (bulk 1968-2016). Research participant and interview files contain recordings of interviews Blake conducted with residents of Daufuskie Island, as well as transcripts of interviews, letters to Blake from interviewees, and some personal documents such as scrapbooks, medical records, and birth certificates given to Blake by interviewees. Of particular interest may be interviews with civil rights icon Septima Poinsette Clark and midwives Rosa Brisbane and Sara Grant. Files relating to Grant and Brisbane also contain documents relating to their personal medical histories and work as midwives. Research files include correspondence, printed material, photographs, writings by Blake and others, field notes by Blake and his research assistants, recordings of events of Daufuskie Island, and records from various Sea Islands organizations, such as the Penn Center on St. Helena Island and a Daufuskie Island chapter of the Knights of Pythias. The series also includes files of the Kinte Library Project, a collaboration between Blake and author Alex Haley to gather and preserve oral histories and archival materials documenting life on the Sea Islands. These files contain correspondence, administrative records, and photographs.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type, then in alphabetical order.

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: J. Herman Blake's Daufuskie Island journal, 1980 October 28-1981 April 18 is restricted for 5 years (until 2023).

Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact MARBL at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder MARBL's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Research participant and interview files
Box Folder Content
10 1 Atkinson, Danny, 1981
AV2 - Atkinson, Danny and Thomas Stafford, interview, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Atkinson, Danny and Thomas Stafford, interview, undated [original: open reel]
10 2 Bentley, Janie, undated
9 1 Brisbane, Rosa, 1941-1943
10 3 Brisbane, Rosa, 1941-1945
10 4 Brisbane, Rosa, undated
AV2 - Brisbane, Rosa, interview, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Brisbane, Rosa, interview, undated [original: open reel]
19 25 Brisbane, Rosa, midwifery scrapbook, undated
AV2 - Brisbane, Rosa, "On slavery time...," edited interview, 2002 September 30 [original: CD]
AV2 - Brisbane, Rosa, "On slavery time...," original, undated [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Brown, Jessica and Fred, interviewed by Milicent Brown, 1993 July 7 [original: audiocassette; Milicent Brown, interviewer]
10 5 Brown, Isabell, 1973
10 6 Bryan, Edna, 1982
10 7 Bryan, Edna and Josephus Robinson, 1981
AV2 - Bryan, Edna and Josephus Robinson, interview, 1981 November 21 (side a); Thomas Stafford, 1981 November 21 (side b) [original: audiocassette]
10 8 Bryan, Emily, undated
10 9 Bryan, Sara, undated
10 10 Bryan, Thomas, 1932
10 11 Bryan, Thomas, 1973
10 12 Bryan, Viola, 1967
10 13 Bryan, Walter J., undated
10 14 Bryan, William, 1973
AV2 - Campbell, Emory, interview, 1981 March 20 [original: audiocassette]
10 15 Clark, Septima Poinsette, 1980-1983
AV2 - Clark, Septima Poinsette, 1981 March 28 [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Fielding, Herbert, interviewed by Milicent Brown (Charleston, South Carolina), 1993 July 11 [original: audiocassette]
10 16 Gadsen, Sam, 1971
AV2 - Gadsen, Sam and Bernice Robinson, 1967 August 25 (side a); Frank Freeman and Bill Saunders, Tony Daise, Charleston Library, Elizabeth Baker, Solomon Brown, Lula Bligen, and Sam Gadsden, 1967 August 23-24 (side b) [original: open reel]
AV2 - Gibbs, James ("Suuday"), interview, 2004 October 17 [original: audiocassette]
10 17 Grant, Cornelia, 1973-1981
10 18 Grant, Fred, Jr., undated
AV2 Grant, Fred, Sr., interview (Savannah, Georgia), 1982 April 22 [original: audiocassette]
10 19 Grant, Sara, 1941-1942
10 20 Grant, Sara, circa 1970-1973
AV2 - Grant, Sara, interview, 1973 July 27 [original: audiocassette] [topics include: midwifery, delivery, training, land, herbs and roots, and general conversation]
10 21 Graves, Agnes, undated
10 22 Graves, Isaiah, 1973
10 23 Hamilton, Estella, 1973-1978
10 24 Hamilton, Johnny, 1973
10 25 Hamilton, William and Estella, 1973-1974
10 26 Haynes, Frances, 1972
11 1 Holmes, Rosannah, 1920-1928
11 2 Hudson, Willie, undated
AV2 - Jackson (Mrs.) and Thomas (Mrs.), interviewed by Sabra Slaughter, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Jenkins, Esau, Alice Wine, Isabel Simmons and Herbert Fielding, 1967 August 22 (side a); Septima Clark, Bill Saunders, and Frank Freeman, 1967 August 23 (side b) [original: open reel]
11 3 Jenkins, Lawrence, undated
11 4 Jenkins, Mabel, undated
11 5 Jones, Frances, 1973 [1]
11 6 Jones, Frances, 1973 [2]
11 7 Robinson, Albertha, undated
11 8 Robinson, Jeanette, 1980-1981
AV2 - Robinson, Jeanette, interview, 1981 April 4 [original: audiocassette]
11 9 Robinson, Josephus, 1980
AV2 - Robinson, Josephus, interview, 1981 November 22 [original: audiocassette]
11 10 Robinson, Louvenia, 1980-1981
11 11 Ross, Charles, 1974
11 12 Simmons, Agnes, undated
11 13 Simmons, Ervin, 1981-2007 [1]
11 14 Simmons, Ervin, 1981-2007 [2]
12 1 Simmons, Jake, undated
12 2 Simmons, Lillian, 1924-2007
12 3 Simmons, Walter, 1972
12 4 Smith, Ernestine, 1981
AV2 - Smith, Ernestine, interview, 1981 May 25 (side a); Danny Atkinson, 1981 May 26 (side b) [original: open reel]
12 5 Smith, Frank Wallace, undated
12 6 Smith, Jenewese, undated
12 7 Smith, Lucille, undated
12 8 Smith, Susie, undated
12 9 Stafford, Thomas, 1980-1981 [1]
12 10 Stafford, Thomas, 1980-1981 [2]
AV2 - Stafford, Thomas and Alice Wine, interview, undated
AV2 - Stafford, Thomas, interviewed by Herman Blake with Sabra Slaughter, Danny Atkinson, and Shirley Jefferson, 1983 March 29 [original: open reel]
12 11 Stevens, Ella Mae, 1973-1974
12 12 Taylor, Phoebe, undated
12 13 Unidentified letters and Ladies Birthday Almanac, 1955-1956
12 14 Unidentified notebook kept by resident of Daufuskie Island, circa 1907-1924
12 15 Unidentified notebook kept by resident of Daufuskie Island, 1957 June
AV2 - Washington, Ernestine, 1981 May 25 (side a); Danny Atkinson, 1981 May 26 (side b) [original: open reel]
12 16 Washington, Flossie, 2014
12 17 Washington, Jake, undated
AV2 - Wigfall, John, Irene and Maggie Brown, St. Julian Devine political leader in Charleston, undated [original: open reel]
12 18 Wiley, Ethel, undated
12 19 Wiley, Geneva, 1972-1981
12 20 Wiley, Franklin, undated
12 21 Williams, James, undated
AV2 - Wine, Alice, song and prayer, Moving Star hall, undated [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Wine, Alice, Isabel Simmons, and Herbert Fielding, undated [original: audiocassette]
Research files
12 22 Articles and clippings, 1963-2007
12 23 Articles and clippings, circa 1981-2010 [1]
13 1 Articles and clippings, circa 1981-2010 [2]
13 2 Articles and clippings, circa 1981-2010 [3]
BV1 - Baldwin, Fred, photograph album, circa 1960s
13 3 Bannerman, Helen, The Story of Little Black Sambo, book jacket, undated
13 4 Beaufort County Joint Planning Commission, 1984
AV2 - Bethel A.M.E. Church (St. George, South Carolina), 1982 March 21 [original: audiocassette]
13 5 "Black Culture in the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands," grant applications, 1982
13 6 Blake, J. Herman, "Been Here a Long Time," 1980
13 7 Blake, J. Herman, "Brief History of the First Union African Baptist Church," 1981
13 8 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, 1973 August
13 9 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, 1974 July-August
20 1 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, original, 1980 October 28-1981 April 18 [1] [RESTRICTED]
20 2 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, original, 1980 October 28-1981 April 18 [2] [RESTRICTED]
20 3 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, photocopy, 1980 October 28-1981 April 18 [1] [RESTRICTED]
20 4 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, photocopy, 1980 October 28-1981 April 18 [2] [RESTRICTED]
20 5 Blake, J. Herman, Daufuskie Island journal, 1981 February 22-April 18 [RESTRICTED]
13 10 Blake, J. Herman, "Day-Clean on Daufuskie," 1980
13 11 Blake, J. Herman, "The Day the Old Men Stumbled," 1980
13 12 Blake, J. Herman, "King-Love," 1981
13 13 Blake, J. Herman, "New Law: Bre'r Rabbit Revisited," 1983
13 14 Blake, J. Herman, tape transcript, 1981
13 15 Blake, J. Herman, Eleanor Mack, and Sandra Chisolm, discussion transcript, 1982
13 16 Blake, J. Herman, Sabra Slaughter, Annamarie Melodia, "Africans in Afro-America," 1989
AV2 - Blake, Herbert (Reverend), Bethel A.M.E. Church (St. George, South Carolina), tape 1, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Blake, Herbert (Reverend), Bethel A.M.E. Church (St. George, South Carolina), tape 2, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Blake, Herbert (Reverend), Bethel A.M.E. Church (St. George, South Carolina), tape 3, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - Blake, William (Pastor), Allen A.M.E. Church (Edisto Island, South Carolina) 1967 August 27 (side a); Calvary A.M.E. Church funeral (Edisto Island, South Carolina) and Wadmalaw Imp. Com. tea, Little Rock Baptist Church (Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina), 1967 August 27 (side b) [original: open reel]
CLP3 - Carawan, Guy, "Been in the Storm So Long: Spirituals and Shouts, Children's Game Songs," 1967
13 17 Channel, C., Jr., "Rebirth in South Carolina," undated
13 18 Childress, Alice and Nathan Woodard, "Gullah! A Musical Play," circa 1981 [inscribed to Blake from the authors]
14 1 Cole, Johnetta B., "African Retentions in the New World...One More Time," undated
14 2 Comprehensive Health Services (Ridgeland, South Carolina), 1973
14 3 Correspondence, 1971-1978
14 4 Correspondence, 1980-2009
CLP3 - "Cousin Wash the Storyteller and Ndiko the Musician," 1970
CLP3 - "Cousin Wash the Storyteller," volume 1, 1969
CLP3 - "Cousin Wash the Storyteller," volume 2, 1969
AV2 - "Daufuskie graduation," 1970 June 2 [original: open reel]
AV2 - "D. Comm. Imp. Club, November 18," undated [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Daufuskie Island, 1972 January [original: Super 8]
AV2 - Daufuskie Island, 1971 January 30 [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Daufuskie Island, 1981 October 4 [original: audiocassette]
AV2 Daufuskie Island Christmas play, undated (side a); Daufuskie slide sequence, undated (side b) [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - Daufuskie Island Christmas program, undated [original: audiocassette]
14 5 Daufuskie Island Community Preservation Zone Association, 2013
14 6 Daufuskie Island high School, 1973
14 7 Daufuskie Island Pavilion, 1981
14 8 "The Daufuskie Island Plan," 1985
14 9 The Daufuskie Island Kids' Magazine, 1980-1989
14 10 Daufuskie Island News, 1981
AV2 - Daufuskie Island, revival, 1981 February 25-March 1 [original: open reel]
AV2 - Daufuskie Island, Union Baptist Church, 1981 November 22 (side a); "Discussion: Jake, Lawrence, Blake, Atkinson," 1981 November 22 (side b) [original: audiocassette]
14 11 Daufuskie Schools self-evaluation, 1978
15 1 Dodson, Curtis, "In Mother's Tracks," 1994
15 2 Dr. Henry A. Highland v. Francis Graham, 1986-1987
AV2 - Edisto Island, South Carolina, Allen A.M.E. Church services and Sam Gadsen's memories of slavery, 1971 March 28 [original: open reel]
AV2 - Edisto Island, South Carolina, Calvary A.M.E. Church services and Solomon Brown interview, 1971 April 18 [original: open reel]
15 3 Evans, E. Raymond, Clive Kileff, and Karen Shelley, "That Was All We Ever Knew": Herbal Medicine: A Living Force in the Appalachians, 1982
15 4 Foote, Henry Wilder, "The Penn School on St. Helena Island," 1904
15 5 Fripp, John Edwin, papers, undated
AV2 - "Georgia Sea Islands Songs, Volumes 12 and 13," undated [original: audiocassette]
15 6 Graduate School for Community Development (San Diego, California), research internship program, 1980-1981
15 7 Graduate School for Community Development (San Diego, California), research internship program, 1982
15 8 Graduate School for Community Development (San Diego, California), research internship program, 1983-1984
15 9 Grant application, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1981-1983
15 10 Grant application, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1986-1987
15 11 Grant application, Russell Sage Foundation, 1974
BV2 - Holy Bible found on Daufuskie Island
15 12 The Illustrated American, 1895 May 18 [includes article about Red Top, South Carolina]
CLP3 - Jenkins, Ella, "Call and Response Rhythmic Group Singing," Folkways Records and Service Corporation, 1957
15 13 Jefferson, Shirley, Daufuskie Island journal, 1983 March
16 1 John, Carol Taylor, "Daufuskie, That's My Home!," 1993
CLP3 - Jones, Bessie, "So Glad I'm here: Songs and Games from the Georgia Sea Islands," 1973
CLP3 - Jones, Bessie, "Step It Down: Games for Children," 1979
19 26 Knights of Pythias, Daufuskie Island, minute book, 1927-1932
9 2 Knights of Pythias, South Carolina Jurisdiction, Washington Lodge 396, Constitution of the Grand and Subordinate Lodges, undated
CLP4 - Library of Congress, Division of Music Recording Laboratory, "Folklore of the United States Animal Tales Told in the Gullah Dialect by Albert H. Stoddard of Savannah, Georgia," 1951
16 2 Life in Sea Islands, transparencies, undated
CLP4 - Lomax, Alan, "Georgia Sea Islands, Volume 1," 1960
CLP4 - Moving Star Hall Singers and Alan Lomax, "Sea Island Folk Festival," 1964
AV2 - National Public Radio, "Sea Island Sketches," Crossroads Series, 1983 [original: audiocassette]
16 3 National Register of Historic Places, Daufuskie Island nomination, 1981
16 4 Notes and reports, circa 1973-1982
AV2 - "Oldies songs with records and Mrs. Bryan," undated [original: audiocassette]
16 5 Opala, Joseph A., "The Gullah," 2000
AV2 - Penn Center, "Community Sing," Frissell Community House, 1973 February 18
AV2 - Penn Center, "Community Sing," Frissell Community House, 1973 March 8 [original: open reel]
16 6 Penn Community Services, circa 1973-1983
9 3 Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School, annual reports, 1919-1923
16 7 Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School, annual reports, 1926-1930
16 8 Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School, annual reports, 1936-1942
16 9 Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School, annual reports, 1944-1951
16 10 Penn Normal, Industrial, and Agricultural School, pamphlets, 1912, 1932-1945
16 11 Penn School (Beaufort, South Carolina), circa 1977-1982
AV2 - Penn School (St. Helena Island, South Carolina), "Sea-Island Spirituals," 1942 [original: audiocassette]
OP1 Photographs, mounted, circa 1960s
17 1 Photographs, circa 1969
9 4 Photographs, 1969-1970
17 2 Photographs, circa 1970-1979
17 3 Photographs, circa 1980-1989
17 4 Photographs, 1981
17 5 Programs and fliers, 1951-2016
CLP4 - Reagon, Bernice, "The Sound of Thunder," undated
CLP4 - Reeves, Dick, "Gullah: 'A Breath of the Carolina Low Country,'" 1963 [inscribed by Reeves]
17 6 Research proposals, 1982-1984
17 7 Rickford, John, 1970-1981
17 8 Rickford, John, Daufuskie Island journal, 1970
CLP4 - "Ring Games," Folkways Records and Service Corporation, 1953
17 9 Robinson, Jackie, "Black Culture and Racism on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina," 1980
17 10 Sea Islands Field School, papers, 2008 August
17 11 Sklar, Zach, senior thesis, undated
AV2 - Smith, Wallace and Sia Simmons, discussion at the store (Daufuskie Island, South Carolina), 1982 March 25 [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - "Snake footage," undated [original: Super 8]
AV2 - St. Helena Island, South Carolina, tape a, Florence Singleton house blessing, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - St. Helena Island, South Carolina, tape b, Penn School Sing, 1960 March 20 [original: open reel]

Includes numerous spirituals: Wished I Had Eagles Wings, Go Tell it on the Mountain, If you Pray Right heaven Will Come to You, I'm on My Journey Home, Dem Bones Are Goin to Rise Again, I Want to Be eady

AV2 - "Studies in Afro American Music, 1890-1930," undated [original: audiocassette]
AV2 - "To Live as Free Men," soundtrack, undated [original: open reel]
AV2 - "Tow" and "Shrimp boat," undated [original: Super 8]
AV2 - "Unloading a shrimp boat," undated [original: Super 8]
17 12 Untitled manuscript about Daufuskie Island, undated [1]
17 13 Untitled manuscript about Daufuskie Island, undated [2]
17 14 Wellington, Ophelia, 1997
Kinte Library Project
17 15 Administrative records, circa 1973
18 1 "Beginnings," 1972-1974
18 2 Correspondence, 1972-1977
18 3 "The Exiles: Life and Culture in a Gullah Community, A Report to the Kinte Library Project," undated [1]
18 4 "The Exiles: Life and Culture in a Gullah Community, A Report to the Kinte Library Project," undated [2]
CLP4 - Haley, Alex, "Alex Haley Tells the Story of His Search for Roots," 1977
AV2 - Haley, Alex, dub, undated [original: VHS]
18 5 Haley, Alex, "'Fuskie's Folks," Smithsonian Magazine, 1977-1982
18 6 Haley, Alex, "Roots," condensed, first proof, 1974 June
18 7 Kinte Library Project case statement, preliminary second draft, 1974
AV2 - Kinte Library Project workshop, 1974 June 7-9 [original: open reel]
9 5 Photographs, circa 1968-1969
18 8 Photographs, circa 1969
18 9 Proposal, 1972
9 6 "Reconstruction of African Heritage and History through the Black Family," undated
9 7 Rose, James M., "A Guide to Black Genealogical Research," undated
19 1 San Jose State University transfer to University of California, Santa Cruz, 1973-1975
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