Lorenzo Dow Turner (1890-1972) was an African American academic and linguist who did seminal research on the Gullah language of the Low Country of coastal South Carolina and Georgia. His studies included recordings of Gullah speakers in the 1930s. He taught at Howard University and Fisk University, created the African Studies curriculum at Fisk, served as chair of the African Studies Program at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and co-founded a training program for Peace Corps volunteers going to Africa.
|Lorenzo Dow Turner|
Writings include typescripts on Gullah texts and the Sea-Island dialect of South Carolina, writings on African culture, and notebooks and gathered pages with an envelope marked "original of stories and proverbs in the Yoruba." Also present is the text of an address given by Ambassador S.O. Adeba, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, at Roosevelt University in April 1966 and a copy of Turner's dissertation on "Anti-Slavery Sentiment in American Literature Prior to 1865." Additional papers include an invitation to a series of lectures given by Turner at Roosevelt University, news clippings, a draft of a Turner's report on his research conducted on a Fulbright Scholarship in 1951, a hand script chart listing the importation of Africans into South Carolina for 1733-1807 by region of origin, and worksheets used for the Linguistic Atlas of the United States and Canada, compiled by Hans Kurath.
|Wire recording and field |
notes, circa 1950s
Lorenzo Dow Turner was the subject of a 2007 biography by Margaret Wade-Lewis entitled Lorenzo Dow Turner: Father of Gullah Studies and published by the University of South Carolina Press.
Posted by Christopher Harter
(Images from the papers of Lorenzo Dow Turner Papers. May not be reproduced without permission.)