Black Ancestors : Lorenzo Dow Turner

Discussion in 'Honoring Black Ancestors' started by cherryblossom, Oct 30, 2011.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Lorenzo Dow Turner (August 21, 1890–February 10, 1972) was an African-American academic and linguist who did seminal research on the Gullah language of the Low Country of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. His studies included recordings of Gullah speakers in the 1930s. As head of the English departments at Howard University and Fisk University for a combined total of nearly 30 years, he strongly influenced their programs. He created the African Studies curriculum at Fisk, was chair of the African Studies Program at Roosevelt University, and in the early 1960s, cofounded a training program for Peace Corps volunteers going to Africa....

    ...Lorenzo Dow Turner is best remembered as the father of Gullah studies. His interest in the Gullah people began in 1929 when he first heardGullah speakers while teaching a summer class at South Carolina State College (now University). Although established scholars then viewed Gullah speech as a form of substandard English, Turner sensed that Gullah was strongly influenced by African languages. He set out to study the language. For the next 20 years, he made trips to the Gullah region in coastal South Carolina and Georgia, interviewing Gullahs (often in isolated locations) and making detailed notes on their language. He also made recordings in the 1930s of Gullah speakers talking about their culture, folk stories and other aspects of life.
    As part of his studies, Turner traveled to several locations in Africa, specifically Sierra Leone, to learn about the development of Creolelanguages, as well as to Louisiana and Brazil, to study Creole and Portuguese, respectively. He did research at University of London School of Oriental and African Studies (on various African language systems). He wanted to be able to provide context for the obvious "Africanisms" he discovered in his Sea Islands research. "Such depth and breadth allowed Turner to locate Gullah culture and language within the broader complexities of the African diaspora in the New World, ... firmly outside the reductionist theoretical model of cultural assimilation."[1]
    When Turner finally published his classic work Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect in 1949, he made an immediate impact on established academic thinking. His study of the origin, development and structure of Gullah was so convincing that scholars quickly accepted his thesis that Gullah is strongly influenced by African languages. He showed the continuity of language and culture across the diaspora. Many scholars have followed Turner over the years in researching the African roots of Gullah language and culture. He created a new field of study by his work and an appreciation for a unique element of African-American culture.
    Lorenzo Dow Turner was strongly influenced by the American linguistic movement, which he joined at its inception. Through his Gullah research, he gave shape to several academic specialties: Gullah studies, dialect geography and creole linguistics, as well as being an important predecessor to the field of African American studies, which developed in the 1960s and 70s.[2][3]
    Turner died of heart failure at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, on February 10, 1972

    continued here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenzo_Dow_Turner
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Thursday, October 21, 2010





    Lorenzo Dow Turner papers



    Pioneering linguist Lorenzo Dow Turner proved through scientific research and audio recordings that the Gullah language, spoken in the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia by descendants of African slaves, retained African words and expressions and conveyed cultural traditions. The Lorenzo Dow Turner papers at the Anacostia Community Museum Archives contain approximately 110 field recordings made by Turner in the United States, Brazil, and Africa; they include songs, stories, and poems used by Turner for his seminal work, Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect. Although the bulk of the field recordings made by Turner are held by the Archives of Traditional Music, Indiana University, Bloomington, the holdings at Anacostia Community Museum Archives have major research value and supplement the holdings at Indiana University.


    [​IMG]

    Dr. Turner recording in Africa. Many times Turner ran the recorder in Africa
    using the battery of his truck as a source of energy.

    http://si-siris.blogspot.com/2010/10/lorenzo-dow-turner-papers.html







    complete article here:​
     
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