You may recognize the bright smiles and kind welcoming spirits of Ron and Natalie Daise from the ‘90s children’s program, Gullah Gullah Island.
For many Black children, the Daise family’s work to help Gullah-Geechee culture come to life to the delight of a national television audience was a special honor.
Ron and Natalie reflect fondly on their four proud years preserving the distinctly West African traditions of the Gullah Geechee descendants of West African enslaved people, who settled in the Lowcountry off the coastal shores of Georgia and South Carolina.
Gullah Gullah Island featured beautiful wardrobes, Creole language lessons, traditional instruments, song, and dance.
Their longevity in this work speaks volumes for the respect this sadly-deteriorating culture deserves.
Both find it no trouble at all to navigate a speaking circuit, where their well-rehearsed Gullah-Geechee storytelling practices unfold.
Today, Ron is a vice president for creative education at Brookgreen Gardens, while Natalie uses painting to open a portal to worlds where Black subjects dance among dietary staples like colored greens or exhibit stoic beauty within portraits made with textured sweetgrass native to the Lowcountry.
The Daise’s portfolio of community and culture-focused projects is an example of enduring advocates for preservation efforts with a gift for translating sacred history into a format young people can respect and enjoy.