Feb 21, 2024
Carolyn Grant, Thomas Barnwell, Emory Campbell
Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956

Thomas Barnwell, Emory Shaw Campbell and Dr. Carolyn Grant

Co-Authors of Gullah Days: Hilton Head Islanders Before the Bridge 1861-1956

Thomas C. Barnwell Jr. was born on Hilton Head Island in 1935, received early education in the Island schools, attended high school at Penn on St. Helena Island, and then attended college at the Historic Tuskeegee Institute. He has served as an organizer and advocate for community services of all kinds, most notably as founder of the Beaufort/Jasper Comprehensive Health Services and a developer of several affordable housing communities on Hilton Head Island. Above all, he has worked tirelessly to preserve Gullah culture across the Lowcountry. 

Emory Shaw Campbell is president of the Gullah Heritage Consulting Service on Hilton Head Island. He earned a degree in biology from  Savannah State College (now University) and a degree in environmental engineering from Tufts University in Boston. His short tenure in Boston gave him a lasting perspective of his Gullah cultural heritage. After his time in Boston, Mr. Campbell returned to Hilton Head Island and eventually became the executive director of the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island - a position he held for 22 years. During that time, he helped establish Penn Center as a key institution in the preservation of Gullah and Lowcountry culture. Mr. Campbell is also the author of the guide book, Gullah Cultural Legacies.  He is currently President of Gullah Heritage Consulting Service  through which he conducts institutes on Gullah Cultural heritage and related issues through lectures, short courses and the Gullah Heritage Trail Tours on Hilton Head Island.

Carolyn Grant has been a writer and communicator for all of her career after graduating from Spelman College and Northwestern University. She, too, has put her career to work serving her community as a journalist, public relations consultant and volunteer on numerous civic boards. Carolyn has written extensively about the Island's Gullah culture.  She is currently the Communications Director for the Town of Hilton Head Island. She  grew up working in her parents' restaurant, the famous Abe's Native Shrimp, which became the first restaurant to introduce Shrimp and Grits and many other Gullah dishes.

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