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Part 3 Anthropologist Joe Opala has studied the history of slavery from the African side of the ocean.He has tracked a remarkable series of connections that end in Charleston and trace back to Africa.
Both learned the song from women in their family, who hoped that their descendants could someday use the song to reunite.Folklorists and historians who had studied this culture before Turner and concluded that the Gullah merely borrowed and corrupted English and European language and customs. Where others heard Gullah only as a primitive pigeon English, Turner found a rich language that owed as much to Africa as to Europe.Linguist Joko Sengova is following in Turner's footsteps, and is attempting to pinpoint examples of African language that survive and have influenced Gullah, Geechee and Creole language.To their shock and surprise, the Gullah people could understand everything the Sierra Leonans said. But the Gullah people were American, and spoke what many people had long considered an uneducated version of English.Americans might still consider Gullah merely broken English, if not for Lorenzo Dow Turner.
Thanks to the Sierra Leonan government, a group of the Gullah people from St.