1. The enslaved were sold at the Custom House on East Bay Street and
the Old Slave Mart on Chalmers Street, both less than two blocks away
from the City Market. Historical data indicate that slaves were never
sold in the City Market. I suspect my visit there produced a startling
experience because of the proximity of the trade.
2. The historical timeline as published by the City of Charleston docu-
ments the fi rst sale and trade of an enslaved woman named Lucinda in
the Old Slave Mart in 1856, a date too late to encompass the mass mar-
keting, sale, and trade of the millions of enslaved bodies that passed
through the Charleston port before being dispersed to other colonies.
introduction: gullah/ geechee women
1. Dash, Daughters of the Dust.
2. Chireau, Black Magic, 2.
3. These names are pseudonyms.
4. McKoy, “The Limbo Contest.”
5. I am indebted to one of my anonymous reviewers, who framed the
scope of my project in these terms.
6. “The lowcountry” is a term used in South Carolina to refer to the lower
third of South Carolina (including the Sea Islands), which is distin-
guished from the piedmont and upstate regions because of the pres-
ence of Atlantic- bound rivers.
7. Here I employ Margaret Creel’s use of “culture” to signify communal
systems of meaning that directly inform beliefs, thoughts, feelings,
histories, and behavior. Culture is dynamic and is passed on from gen-
eration to generation through creative, encompassing, and adaptive
modes of communication. Creel, A Peculiar People, 1.