tv United Shades of America CNN May 20, 2018 8:00pm-9:00pm PDT
yours. the need for healthy living and safety, the need for care and human connection, and the need for a country willing to listen when you say, look at me. i'm here, and i live here, too. everybody these days is talking about how divided the country is, left versus right, black versus white, starkz versus lanisters. clearly i get my news from a variety of sources. on this episode of black shades of america, we're going to get our information from these people. not only do you survive, you thrive. if only those people had written a song about that. and if only that song was so famous if we played it now it would sound cheesy. ♪ kum ba ya my lord kum ba ya
♪ kum ba ya my lord kum ba ya ♪ >> if only, if only. ♪ o lord kum ba ya ♪ >> my name is w kemal bell. as a comedian, i made a living finding humor in parts of america i don't understand. and now i'm challenging myself to dig deeper. i'm on a mission to reach out and experience all the cultures and believes that add color to this crazy country. this is the "united shades of america." if there is any one thing that "united shades of america" is about, it's the idea that black people are not a monolith. okay, the show is about a lot of things. inclusion. me nodding my head a lot. me looking bad on television. and then it's the idea that black people are not a monolith. admittedly, sometimes that gets lost when me and my people stand up together for our common good
whether to say black lives matter or say why haven't they brought back living single? come on, they brought back all those white shows. but if there is one group of black people who absolutely proved that we are not a monolith, it's the gulla people or the gichi people or the gullago, ichi people. the beginning of the story is much like most american black folk. come on, you've heard the bob marly song buffalo soldier, it was after black people were free from slavery these islands subm cemented a culture all their own. the black folks outnumbered the white people. and as white people left, they did something we couldn't do anywhere else in america, spread out and get comfortable. ♪ ♪ >> the isolation helped them
keep not only much of their west african traditions,s they were able to invent their own. they were able to develop their own music, art, food, and most importantly, language. >> a language which was a mix of english, west african languages and some good old down home southern drawal. >> we're happy you came to visit we people. >> while it's hard to pin down the population, it is estimated 200,000 to 500,000 people that identify as gulla. but today this whole unique american culture is in danger of disappearing for good, opposite of what helped make it disappear in the first place. renaming it and remaking the landscape. i wonder what the gulla word for gentrification is. which is why the saint helen day is so important.
a three-day festival to celebrate gulla culture and specifically its west african roots. and it's got everything. food, music, and pint-size power rangers. and free candy? ♪ ♪ >> i've never felt so funky as being judged a sinner. >> we love people. we love each other. >> there goes my president. she's blowing kisses, preaching unity and happiness. she looks cool in sunglasses. if i had my president, i'm happy to see happy black people, but what are we celebrating specifically? >> community, family, heritage. that's what we come back home for. >> you know, with everything going on in the world and all the problems and divisions, this is good to be out here outside.
people having a good time, right? yeah. >> and if you notice, it's not just black people. it's everybody comes out. >> yeah. >> we celebrate everybody. >> i've seen three white people. [ laughter ] >> more than that. >> i know. i think i brought the other ones. >> you brought two of them? >> those are all my whites. [ laughter ] >> so, how would you say that the gulla culture is different than black culture in the rest of the country? >> it's very different. >> yes. >> you say that like i don't have enough time to go into it. pull up a chair. >> exactly. it's not just the language, it's the tone, the mannerisms. >> customs. things you don't even realize yo do. when you goomewhere else, you're like, y'all don't do that? >> exactly. >> i come from -- i live in
california on the other side of the country. and i feel like i don't hear a lot about gulla culture out there. tell me, what is it, what makes you proud about it, what should people know about it? >> you know, a lot of other places where it's a lot of black people, it's kind of like -- it's no togetherness. but when you come here, everybody knows each other and so it's kind of like a club. >> this is like black people like the big club and the gulla is the v.i.p. in the black club. [ laughter ] >> hey, look at this. that's nice. that's nice when you have a community like this where everybody knows everybody. >> it really is. we're really trying to hold onto it because it's such a tourism area. people try to change it up when they come in. so this is really important to us. it really is. try to maintain this. >> yeah.
is it hard to maintain? do you feel like it's slipping away? >> i think some. >> especially blustery hill. that area was just black people. now you have a bunch of resorts and town houses and stuff out there. >> what happened here is people come in and buy up the land and then we get priced out because of the high tax rate on your own land. >> so you can't afford to pay the taxes. you still own it but you can't afford to pay the taxes. >> can't afford to pay the taxes. because of the big resort over here. >> so even though you own that land, your family owned that land a long time -- >> hundreds of years. >> suddenly the taxes go up and you can't afford to own your own land. >> exactly. >> yep, just a bunch of brothers standing around talking property taxes. my dad would be so proud. everyone here is fighting to preserve the gulla culture.
but this woman -- >> you got my skinny side? just make sure you got [ laughter ] >> is telling her story on the national stage. at a time when the culture is rapidly diminishing, anita singleton is doing what she can to keep it alive. ♪ ♪ anita is a story teller and character literally. known as aunt pearly sue, her show aired on pbs nationwide. so, first of all, tell me, where are you from? >> right here, buford. >> all right, all right. i figured that. and you lived here your whole life? >> all my life. i went away to college at howard, graduated from howard university. >> you've seen the big city. why did you come back here? >> i always wanted to be back home. there was never i time i didn't want to be here. buford is a very unique place because we were the first set of blacks to be freed right at the beginning of the civil war. >> wow. >> yeah.
november 7, 1861. african-american history as we know it today actually started in south carolina. >> wow. >> when we talk about blacks coming to find out who they are and how we fit in american history, you have to start here. so, you're home, boo. >> i had no idea. >> yeah, boo. >> i had no idea. >> you're here. >> thank you. i'm glad to be here. how come it's not in the books? >> that's why you have to come and find out. we have to keep telling the story because a lot of people -- part of our story is so painful we don't tell it. but if we don't tell it we cannot truly be free because our young people need to know if our foreparents can make it through the middle passage voyage and 50% of us perished at sea, we made it on these plantations in swamp infested rice fields with mosquitos and water moc cosi ns and leaches, we made it. before we came here, we were african queens and kings. that's the message we have to give to the young people.
the fat lady hasn't tuned up yet. i have people say, well, that's offensive, the rag on your head. somebody wore this rag for you to be here. what part of your history would you give up? i won't give up none because i'm proud of every one. it's their shoulders that i stand on. >> hallelujah. >> hallelujah. >> i don't know the last time i said hallelujah out loud. you pulled it out of me. thank you. >> thank you, honey. >> thank you, thank you. need a hair smoother.? get super fruit moroccan argan oil.
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while the gulla culture can be found in georgia and the low country of south carolina, saint helena island is known for the center of gulla culture and language. for some the heart, soul and sound of the community are the renowned gichi gulla ring shouters. get ready. it is a religious ritual of song and dance that can be traced back to west africa and is believed to be the oldest surviving african performance tradition in network. ♪ god called adam ♪ god called adam ♪ god called adam ♪ >> they asked me to meet them here in front of a traditional praise house. it traces roots to ante bell um days. they would meet in these shaks
to get their groove on and, of course, praise jesus. all right. >> basically at first, with the plantation owners, we would be back near the woods and have church. ad as time progresses they would let us have a place of worship. we put together a slab building. >> it was market so it could be -- marked so it could be a secret? >> this was our moment to escape reality. for that brief moment we would shout all night long. and it was a moment that we can feel like we're not enslachld. -- enslaved. >> what does this music mean to you all? >> heritage is something that we teach. we are embracing because we are not ashamed of what we have accomplished and where we came from. we are preserving. we have fun, but we try to educate our young folks. and all of us are from the
church. matter of fact, we missed service this morning to come and share with you a little of our culture. so, all of us are in the church. this is the mother of our church. our church is 195 years old. >> i hope i didn't get you in trouble with the minister because you missed church today. >> no, she'll straighten him out. [ laughter ] >> she's his boss, yeah, yeah, yeah. the gulla are fighting to preserve their culture and like all marginalized groups in america, it is always a fight. >> unfortunately, people would say to me, boy, you're too geechee. the reason why they said that, you need to change. you came from the plantation. you can't get ahead. but we were losing our own culture. to learn about these people that talk funny, come here this day, we still carry on those traditions. if we don't carry it on, it's going to die out. >> and i talk the way i used to talk a long time ago.
yes, from the plantation. because you know what? i remember like yesterday, i remember like it was yesterday. >> how you doing? >> my joints hurt. where are you going? i'm going to the schoolhouse. walk in the yard. i say no car. i see it creeping across the yard. going down to the schoolhouse. one was fat like me and one was skinny. that's the language we teach. we do. >> it's important for us to let them know that they don't have to be ashamed. that's what we tell them. you know, we say joint and point, they don't understand so we let them know it wasn't bad english. it wasn't ebonics. they didn't use the o in some words. when we say cad, yad and ladd, we let them know a came before r. young folks didn't understand that. this is a part of what we're doing. we're teaching. >> thank you for doing that.
that was amazing. and thank you for being here for the gullah impaired. i appreciate that. [ laughter ] >> i loved hearing the gullah language. but before we go, let's talk about that song, you know the one >> it is called kum ba ya, but few people know the history of it, it came out of the gull gullah geechee culture. everybody knows kum ba ya. but it's come by here. it goes a little bit like this. miss marcia, if you will? ♪ ♪ ♪ kum ba ya my lord, kum ba ya ♪ kum ba ya my lord, kum ba ya ♪ o lord kum ba ya ♪ >> this was made on the plantation. we didn't bring this from africa. we put it together.
the ring shout came from africa. this special rhythmic beat came dpr africa, but these songs, we just -- we couldn't not supposed to read and write, but we could remember words. so, we're keeping it alive from one generation to the next generation, and now to this generation. >> growing up, my only other exposure to gullah culture was when i saw "daughters of the dust" a groundbreaking independent film by writer director julie dash. it is a tribute to julie's gullah roots. in 2004, the library of congress added it to the national film registry as she was the first female african-american director to have her film released nationwide. before you get too excited, remember, this wasn't 50 or 60 years ago. this film came out in 1991. and even though back then, hollywood didn't really know what to do with a powerful black female author. now julie works with ava
duvernay on brown sugar. it was heavily influenced by julie's imagery. today we're meeting at a famous attraction on john's island called the angel oak tree. i feel like i'm in a very special place. >> this tree has secrets. it has memories. >> i bet it does. >> it was here like in the 1600s. and when did we arrive? around 1619 with the early colonials. >> seen a lot of things. >> yeah. >> yeah, that's why it feels like it might start walking if i just get up. all right, i've seen everything i can see. >> it has legacy. and people like to be able to, be able to reach out and touch something that is bigger than themselves, and this certainly is. >> this culture here goes way further back than most black culture in this country, you know. >> it goes way, way back. >> yeah. you can reach out and touch the past here. it's history that's important
because you can trace pieces of traditions and morays and religions and a lot of that is missing in the larger urban areas, you know, after migration. >> is there a fear that, you know, in an effort to make things more tourist friendly, that you sort of clean up some of the history? >> absolutely. >> okay. [ laughter ] >> it's not easy to go, and this is where the slaves lived. >> yeah, it's up to us to remember. and in many ways, it's our ellis island. this is where we came through. >> oh, this is our ellis island. >> yeah, uh-huh. >> that's funny you say that because a friend of mine years ago took me to ellis island. he's a white guy. he's like, let's go to ellis island. i walked through, i'm not really getting it. [ laughter ] >> he was having a moment and i was just like, not really having that moment. >> well, these islands are our ellis island. this is where we came through. >> wow. >> yeah. >> people who don't come here,
people who may not have seen your movie, what would you like them to know about this part of the country? >> we don't represent what people were used to seeing in film and television. everything here was very different. it was more west african and the reason we were still very west african off on these islanwas be of the isolation. before the 1920s and 30s there weren't bridges. for generations they held onto their west african ways, with religion, with foodstuff. >> so, daughters of the dust had a resurgence because you got invited in or subsumed by the bey hive? i don't know what the proper word for that is. >> i am now a member of beyonce's bey hive. >> congratulations. >> thank you. >> like getting knighted by the queen. >> lemonade was a beautiful, beautiful piece. she took it to a whole nol'noth
level, that's wonderful. she's a true artist. thank you, beyonce. >> i say that every morning when i get out of bed. thank you, mama knowles, the whole knowles family. >> yes. king care of the boys. zach! talk to me. it's for the house. i got a job. it's okay. dad took care of us. if you have a garden, you know... weeds are low-down little scoundrels.
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place to get an education on gullah culture and language than the penn center. established in 1862, the penn center is living history. formerly the penn school, it was the first school for freed enslaved africans. it was a popular retreat for martin luther king, jr. and other civil rights leaders because being surrounded for black people miles and miles made a civil rights leader feel safe. i wonder why? legend has it mlk wrote part of his "i have a dream" speech here. maybe he fell asleep under the tree. obama named the penn center as a national monument. i wonder why previous presidents hadn't done that. oh, yeah, right. the penn center is filled with gullah who are working to preserve their heritage. victoria a. smalls served on the heritage corridor commission and helps to bring the gullah
language back. >> we're helping to bring the gullah language in the school system. >> oh, so it can be taught the way other languages -- >> that's always been my personal mission. when i started working with gullah geechee teaching, i want it to be taught like other languages. i want to be so fluent that english is my second language. >> that you have to think in gullah and translate it back to english. >> wouldn't that be beautiful? yeah, i love my culture. >> i can tell, i can tell. what was life like growing up as a kid here? >> it was different because my mother is white and my father is full gullah and my mother and father had children from previous marriages and then got together and created us. so it was 14 of us growing up on a farm. >> so you had the full rainbow coalition. >> yeah, we do. so, we work throughout the corridor to educate people about this wonderful culture that's here in america and how to promote it, preserve it.
economic sustainability, help people with land issues, property. all these things that are kind of the shoes of any community, but that are actually even more of an issue within a gullah community. >> those land issues victoria mentioned are at the very heart of the fight to protect the gullah culture because on these lands they have resorts popping up everywhere. yoga studios in poor neighborhoods. as we heard earlier, this raises property taxes and forces people from homes their families have owned for generations. it's classic gentrification, except instead est pushing you out of the apartment you rent, it pushes you out of the land your family has owned for over a hundred years. jennie stevens and hope are from the centers for heirs property. they are working round the clock to preserve landowner ship, another critical part of the gullah culture. heirs property -- i know what it
is, i can do this myself because i know all this stuff inside and out. y'all know that. i'm at the heirs property meetings all the time. >> we saw you yesterday. >> we saw you yesterday. >> yeah, yeah, i was there. for people don't know why don't we go over it. >> so, heirs property is land that has been passed down without a will, therefore the familiar ends up owning it joinltl jointly. they didn't have wills, but what one member does can upset the remaining members. they don't own a piece, but you own a sharing, a percentage. >> let's say some poor mother has this land and then she has six kids and she, on her death bed said, sonny, you get that corner ore corner over there, junior, you get that corner over there, i never liked you. >> or you get nothing. >> okay. and then they all sort of have this idea that they own different parts of the land. >> uh-huh.
>> so then what happens through the generation? >> that may be honored two or three generations. >> each successive generation is this is what i was told this part of our land was. >> then they die. >> they die, too. >> their spouse and their children now step into the picture. >> and they find out that people who aren't blood related to them now also have an ownership. >> this just seems like it couldn't be more complicated. >> sometimes it can be. >> okay. >> junior may have had a different daddy. >> why did you bring that up? [ laughter ] >> now we did, now we did. >> junior is more real than you would like to believe. >> i see the look on your face. i have to talk to some juniors. >> that's okay. >> so you get that it's this complicated family group ownership, but the real problem with heirs property is a good old-fashioned american loop hole. any one of these people can decide to sell the land without the group's consent.
so, if just one of you guys sells out to the resorts, then you've lost your family land. good job, junior. >> we focus on helping families keep their land and resolve the issue. >> okay. so, it seems to me that the more land that gets lost, the more people leave from here, and don't have a place to come back to, the more resorts that are set up -- >> gated communities. >> gated communities are set up, the less this is a unique part of the country. >> right. >> i don't like seeing injustice, and so i get to put on my super woman cape every morning. >> yep, yep, yep. >> and go to work. >> that's a big work you're doing. >> thank you. >> yeah, yeah. and also i just want to hang out with you two. this is fun. >> you're welcome to. >> our comedy show? >> it is a show. take it on the road. >> an '80s buddy cop movie. [ laughter ] the more your wellbeing can get left behind.
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i we worked with pg&eof to save energy because wenie. wanted to help the school. they would put these signs on the door to let the teacher know you didn't cut off the light. the teachers, they would call us the energy patrol. so they would be like, here they come, turn off your lights! those three young ladies were teaching the whole school about energy efficiency. we actually saved $50,000. and that's just one school, two semesters, three girls. together, we're building a better california.
i'm leaving saint helena island and heading back to the main land to visit the charleston city market. back in berkeley the words open air market would have a different meaning. in the heart of charleston, gullah artisans have been selling art a hundred years helping keep this culture alive. i'm here to meet cory all
aniston whose family has been weaving baskets for generations. so, did this technique of making baskets, this come from africa? >> oh, yeah. >> okay. >> mostly from the sierra leone beg ghana. >> the only way you can visualize traditional pieces or patterns that are older would be based on the simplicity. during the time of enslavement there was no need for beautiful pieces. this is a waste of time because of that time of enslavement it was based on agriculture. >> you need to get it done, it's like you're making tools. >> correct, correct. >> not making art. >> correct. >> you've done something i try to remind myself to do. you're specifically saying enslaved, not slaves. i always try to remind myself a person is not a slave. >> correct. it's out of respect. >> so, you can't teach me how to do this, can you?
>> get him. >> i'm ready to be gotten. >> see, you're a come here, we're a been here. >> oh, so i'm like a dark skinned white man. >> yes. [ laughter ] >> you can also look at it like if it's not shown to you, it's not out of disrespect to the person that wants to do it. >> right. >> it's out of respecting the culture. >> i have to say that is the politeest that i've ever been got before. i feel got. >> yeah. >> but you did it in a gentle way. thank you, thank you. >> so, then you have to use your own -- >> for sale, would you like some? that one is $200. >> we're going to add $65. >> i don't actually work here. i should make that clear. it's $500. >> it's a thousand dollars. >> it's normally a thousand but i can get it to you for 265. >> you talk.
>> i've heard that before. i think i just ruined a sale. >> no, you didn't. >> no, you didn't. >> she told me i sucked. >> you did. [ laughter ] >> oh, man. >> just down the street from the market is gadsden's wharf which is getting a historical reclamation. it's not known but this place played a major role in american history and it is a $75 million complex called the international african-american museum. michael moore. no, not that michael moore. this michael moore is the great grandson of robert smalls. a former enslaved african civil war hero with the best escape story ever. oh, just wait. >> this is the epicenter of the transatlantic slave trade. it is where almost half the enslaved africans arrived.
it was the space where the original capitalization of the united states economy occurred. the former gadsden's wharf. >> somewhere around 100,000 africans were brought here between 1783 and 1808 and sold directly into slavery. in 2014, an archeological dig found remnants of the wharf where the ships arrived. originally built in 1767, the wharf could hold up to six ships at a time, and those ships held upwards of 600 africans apiece. >> and then if you just kind of look out, you can see fort sum ter in the distance. fort sumpter is where the civil war began. that likely could have been a slave ship. the ships would come in and land here. this is the largest wharf in the colonies. you can still see boats coming in along the same path that the 800-plus slave ships took in
bringing enslaved africans. >> 800 plus slave ships. it's messing with my head that it was right here. >> we believe, you know, my great, great, great grandmother was deposited here. the fact that we're building this museum on the spot where so many enslaved africans landed and will be able to pay homage, respect to their ancestors and to, again, their sacrifices and their contributions. >> yeah. the one thing america has never really done is confronted its history of enslaving africans and how that act and those acts are still affecting the current day. and i think that museums like this are hopefully a big part of like saying, don't be afraid. don't be scared. let's just talk about it. >> yeah. you're absolutely right. slave labor built this city, this country. and half of that labor kind of landed right here. and so even just from a american
history standpoint, this is really important, important space. >> turns out that this wharf is not only a part of gullah culture, but it is an essential part of american history. see, it is more than 90% likely that every african-american has at least one relative who landed here. and while that fact fills me with awe, i am also disgusted by the fact of why these people were brought here in the first place. the other thing i know about this area of the country is the gullah. they're still holding onto a lot of their african culture i hear. >> yeah, it's a very powerful cultural phenomenon. my great, great grandfather was called a states man. i'm a great, great grandson of a gullah states man. he was enslaved and born in buford an hour and a half south of here, worked on a boat called the planter. to make a long story short, on the morning of may 13, 1862, he
saw an opportunity to seize his freedom. so, he got his crew, their families, and took off right for fort sumpter there. he knew there was a federal blockade just outside the mouth of the harbor. he knew if he could get there, he'd be free. 3:00 in the morning, it's dark, in the distance he made a break for it. >> wow. where is that superhero movie? >> i agree. after the ward he ended up going to buford. he bought a plantation and the big house that his master owned. he was elected to the legislature, and then went on to congress and served there five terms in congress. >> once you finish with this museum, we're pitching that to hollywood. i think it's going to need to be a trilogy because that's a lot of story. and i mean those are the kind of stories that need to be told. i know ryan coogler a little bit. after he rapz wraps up "black panther," i'll pitch him the robert smalls movie.
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over looked about them and black people in general is the ingenuity we used to build this country into what it is today. ingenuity, innovation, inventions, these aren't words you normally hear when you learn about american slavery. but she is hoping to change that. i'm meeting her at the cloud plan advertising on james island. >> at one time we were the number one rice producer in the world. that's unheard of, georgetown, like where, d.c.? no, georgetown, south carolina. >> west african rice farmers were enslaved and brought to america specifically for their knowledge of the complex process of harvesting rice. and the knowledge those west africans had made charleston the wealthiest place in the country. their rice was dubbed carolina gold, and apparently it was known as the best rice in the world. but once slavery ended, the incredible profit margins went away and so did the rice.
funny how that works. >> i'll let you hold that. >> okay, all right. i mean, this feels like something you go to the gym -- >> exactly. it's not light at all. could you imagine -- >> something thor would use. >> it's kind of like churning butter and you would pound the rice. this would loosen the hull from off of the rice. and so once you finish that, they would basically put the rice inside here and they would shake it and throw it up, and that motion would allow the wind to blow and blow away the chaff. so, what you would have left inside the basket is just the rice. >> who came up with all this? >> aha. aha. that is the great thing about actually getting into these conversations of everything that they did on these plantations and how they were able to innovate, you know, all of these things. because i think somewhere along the way people lost the pride in that.
i guess it's kind of hard to be proud of being a slave. it's hard to be proud of -- >> innovation when you're innovating as a person who is a slave. >> yeah. you don't look at it for the >> it's always the narrative is oh, swing low. >> there you go. >> it's not something like. >> totally the contrast of that. even that, it lives on still today. >> wow. along here is what back then was called the slave quarters. >> yeah, these were the slave quarters. >> can we go inside? >> sure, want to check this one out? >> all right. >> so here we are in the cabin, one of the slave quarters and this would have housed anywhere from two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, whatever the number of people was that was assigned to this home, they would have been in this house. >> would this have been one family primarily? >> one family, primarily,
usually. >> wow. >> uh-huh, yeah. >> i like to, when i'm in these spaces like this, just kind of take some time to be silent and reflect on, you know, what it would have been or what it was and really what it really means to have lived in this time and to have dwelled in this exact space. ♪ >> just take in the whole experience, just come and be quiet in the space, you know, and take in actually what happened here. these people's lives. ♪ could you imagine the stories that these trees could tell? actual real things, you know, that occurred in these places and to really sit there and think about it.
imagine somebody not doing their task for the day, right? >> uh-huh. >> being tied up to a tree. and you looking at that out the window. that's what you waking up to, you see somebody out there tied up to a tree. it can be overwhelming sometimes. >> yeah, it's -- ♪ >> yeah. so, you guys have recently started dating... -yes -yes cool. i want to show you guys three chevy suv's. the first one is called the trax, great for when you move in together. -ahhh! and this is the chevy equinox, perfect for when you two have your first kid. give me some time... okay. this is the traverse... for when you have your five kids, two dogs and one cat. whoa! five? uhhh... it's the chevy memorial day sales event! get an additional $750 on these select models. that's on top of most other offers!
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comcast, building america's largest gig-speed network. before i leave the islands, film maker julie dash invited me to hang with her family and make some authentic gullah cuisine. >> hello, hi! >> how you doing? >> good, kamau bell. nice to meet you. thank you very much. >> uncle johnny is treating us to a traditional gullah crab crack. >> you in here doing a tv show. i'm on your show now. [ laughter ] >> cooking with uncle johnny. all right. come in after my show. we got the next show. oh, here they are. >> there they are. >> wow. oh, sorry, fellas. [ laughter ] >> uh-oh. >> wow. please take a seat. >> thank you. >> yes. are you excited? >> i am.
i'm just looking at the fancy table clothes. [ laughter ] >> this is the south. that's what you need. >> oh, yeah. >> you always have to have newspaper on the table. won't taste right without newspaper. >> not going to taste right. you want that news print after taste. one of the things about this that is so interesting to me is that people think that black people are monolith in america, that black people are the same no matter where you go. but this part of the country for black people, black people's life and culture here is so different from the rest. are you hopeful for the survival of the gullah culture? >> we've been surviving for a long, long time so yeah, absolutely. >> so no matter what happens, as we do, we'll survive it. >> uh-huh. >> absolutely. our language lasted this long, that language survived all these
different centuries and is still here today. gullah isn't going anywhere. gullah culture isn't going anywhere. uncle johnny says it's definitely not going anywhere. [ laughter ] >> the only thing going somewhere is these crabs. >> that's right. >> into my stomach. >> that's right. >> you're learning fast. >> i try to pick up quickly or at least -- you know what i'm good at, uncle johnny? faking it. i may not make it but i'll fake it. thank you for inviting me. i appreciate it. and thank you for making "daughters of the dust." >> thank you. >> i remember when i saw it back in the day and i got to be honest, i was like 18 years old and i was like what is going on here? >> all of this was going on. all of this plus more. [ laughter ] >> you did a good job because it certainly resonated. >> that's great compliment. >> i'm sure i left a lot more meat on the bone than i should have but i did my best. >> you'll get there. you'll get there. >> you'll come down and go to
the bathroom at 3:00 in the morning, i'm almost done uncle johnny. almost done. fade to black, i'll be here for awhile. ♪ down to the river where john baptized three ♪ ♪ walked the devil in hell where johnny baptized me ♪ ♪ singing roll, johnny roll >> truly, i had an amazing time this week. the gullah people welcomed me to a home i didn't even know was my home. and the gullah proved yet again that black people in america are not one thing. sure, there are areas of the country that identifies black like oakland, detroit and harlem. but have you been to those places lately? they are changing fast. with the gullah's rich history
of language and unique american culture, and also with this country being the root of so many black people in america, well, in my humble opinion, this is one black neighborhood that we absolutely cannot afford to lose. ♪ >> amen. ♪ >> anthony: serj is armenian. like most armenians around the world, he wasn't born in armenia. ♪ armenia remains a dream, a subject of stories, yet still, against all odds, a place. ♪ ♪ you, what do you own the world? ♪ ♪ how do you own disorder disorder ♪ ♪ow