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MY STORY

More About Me

I received a B.S. Degree from Southern Illinois University and I am a retired Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Manager.  My husband, Franklin and I have  three wonderful children and ten awesome grandchildren, who are the joys of our lives.  I love cooking for my family and friends and often use this expression as a foundation for Gullah history lectures and storytelling, as well as historic tour guiding in the city of Charleston. I am an author, an Artist in Residence, a Gullah Storyteller and City of Charleston Certified Tour Guide. I also sing with the Charleston Gospel Choir, and performed with them throughout Europe.   I am a recipient of President Obama’s Drum Major for Volunteer Award, and was featured in National Geographic video magazine, The Post and Courier Newspaper, Charleston Magazine, Garden & Gun Magazine, Charleston City Paper, Charleston Inside Out,  Essence and Upscale magazines, among others.  I also appeared on Fox News 24 and Lowcountry Live Television Shows.  I love sharing my Gullah Heritage with others!

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Who was Mama Doonk

Susan Jenkins, affectionately called “Mama Doonk” was a kind hearted, generous, hardworking, and resilient woman.  She was an entrepreneur long before I knew what that word meant; selling goats, pigs, eggs, chickens, sugar canes, homemade wines and her many canned products to make a living.  She planted vegetables and shared her harvest with family, friends and neighbors. She was an avid hunter and frequented the creek where she fished, crab and shrimp for family meals.  The one-dish rice meal was staple in her household.  Field-to-plate was a part of our lives, long before it became popular.  She made sustenance out of almost anything edible.  She could not read or write, but she was one of the smartest women I knew.  Every Gullah story or presentation I give, I feel her presence as I emulate her voice and mannerisms.   That is my way of continuously paying homage to her, her legacy, and my Gullah upbringing.