Julia Peterkin was a white woman who wrote about Gullah people living on her family’s plantation out of a desire to honor and preserve their culture. She was shunned by white Southerners for “betraying her race” but became accepted by Harlem Renaissance writers, such as Langston Hughes and W.E.B. DuBois. Regardless of criticism, she continued writing, and became one of the earliest women to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1929; to this day she is still South Carolina’s only Pulitzer Prize Winner. This presentation aims to shed a light on Peterkin, a powerful, educated woman who started chasing her dreams of writing at age 40; the audience will learn about what inspired her, what made her so highly debated, and what happens to a woman’s legacy when she is just as rebellious and fiery as the bright red hair growing from her head.
Gamechanger: The Life and Writing of Julia Mood Peterkin