The Pee Dee Land Trust partnered with the Peoples Farmer Cooperative and South Carolina State University to conduct the “Pee Dee Black Farmer Storytelling Project” which collected interviews with black farm families and compiled them into storyboards that are currently on display at the Florence County Public Library. SC Humanities supported this project with several grants in 2013 and 2014.
“The Pee Dee Black Farmers Storytelling Project” sought out the stories of long-time farm families in the nine-county Pee Dee region, searching for ways to inspire future farmers to stay connected to family farms in a productive, profitable, and entrepreneurial way. Lead scholar Jillian Hishaw interviewed a number of farming families, creating six storyboards with images and interview excerpts.
In one interview, Mrs. Culbreath from Culbreath Family Farm in Kingstree said, “Food to me is like a religion; it’s something that you believe in.” Mr. Harvey Miller of Carolinas Family Farmers and Gardeners Cooperative in Chesterfield said, “Young people of today don’t realize that, once the land is gone, your history is gone. My siblings moved away, and their children have no connection to the land. Most of the children are educated and have high powered jobs that are here today and gone tomorrow – but the land will always remain.”
To learn more about these farmers’ stories, visit the display of storyboards at the Florence County Public Library, 509 S. Dragan Street, Florence, SC 29506. The storyboards will also be on display at other public buildings throughout the Pee Dee in the fall and winter. For more information about the Pee Dee Black Farmer Storytelling Project, contact the Pee Dee Land Trust at 843-667-3229.
About the Pee Dee Land Trust:
The Pee Dee Land Trust is a nonprofit organization with a mission to conserve and promote appreciation of the significant natural, agriculatural, and historic resources of the Pee Dee region.
About SC Humanities:
The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. SC Humanities programs and initiatives are balanced, reflecting sensitivity to the diversity of ideas, encourage open dialogue, demonstrate integrity, and are ethical in operations.
Image: Harvey Miller of Chesterfield, SC. Photo credited to Jillian Hishaw