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Twenty-five years ago, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe found herself enraptured by the people of Daufuskie Island and recorded their lives through photography. This anniversary edition of Daufuskie Island boldly contrasts the changes caused by economic growth, which occurred after land developers began building expensive homes and hotels.
At the time of first publication, about eighty-five permanent residents of the Island lived in fewer than fifty homes. Many still spoke their native Gullah dialect. This pocket of their culture was all that remained of a thriving antebellum black society built by freed slaves that purchased the land from the original plantation owners, who had left the Island.
In order to create this expanded edition, Jeanne returned to the original contact sheets and discovered many overlooked photographs. Now, twenty-five years later, this seasoned artist, with the benefit of distance and reflection, has perfectly interpreted an evanescent way of life, a world washed away by the ineluctable tides of time.
With 110 photographs, many never before published, Daufuskie Island is a clarion call to preserve the remnants of island life and the culture of the rural south.