Cook Cornbread for Your Husband
Experimental Music Documentary, Super 8mm, 2023, 2 mins
A film by Jackson Cropper and Alia Toorani
Shot on one cassette of Super 8mm film and edited in-camera in the Straight 8mm style, this short music video for Algia Mae Hinton’s Piedmont blues song “Cook Cornbread for Your Husband'' functions as an anthropological documentation of St. Helena Island in South Carolina– an island that stands as a cultural hub of the Gullah Geechee people.
As an African-American ethnic group, the Gullah (whose diaspora stretches along the Low Country regions of the coastal South) managed to preserve elements of their collective culture despite the brutality of slavery. Today, the growing development of coastal regions threatens their geographical ties to the land and culture at large.
Told in three segments, the film exists as a rough documentation of the island and its persistent culture by alluding to its history pre-colonization, pre-emancipation, and within the demands of modernity.
As both inhabitants and observers of the Coastal South, the efforts of the Gullah Geechee people to maintain their geographical ties to the Lowcountry have greatly captured our attention. We agree that any further outside development of St. Helena Island is a blatant disservice to the longevity of the Gullah presence and culture. After a recent Beaufort County ruling sided with St. Helena inhabitants in favor of prohibiting further construction of golf courses and gated communities, we believe 'Cook Cornbread' is a timely piece highlighting the longstanding beauty and perseverance of the great island community.