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Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Awards

2014 Recipients: Anita Singleton-Prather

Anita Singleton-Prather
Advocacy - Gullah Culture


Anita PratherAnita Singleton-Prather is an entrepreneur, Gullah advocate, entertainer and master storyteller. She brings Gullah culture to countless people through “Aunt Pearlie Sue,” a character inspired by her grandmother. She entertains as she educates, affirming customs familiar to some generations and introducing them to younger ones. In addition to being a storyteller, Singleton-Prather is a singer, actress and historian. The founder of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk, Prather has performed at many festivals, including the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston. She appeared in the film Forrest Gump and on the Food Network program Christmas Across America. Singleton-Prather’s one-woman show, Tales from the Land of Gullah, has been broadcast nationally on PBS, as well as in Canada and the Virgin Islands.


Through her tireless efforts, she has built networks and partnerships with other organizations in South Carolina to preserve and showcase contemporary Gullah Geechee traditions in the region. She has traveled extensively, both in the United States and abroad to tell the story.


Through her creative storytelling, she captivates her audience and feels what she is doing is her mission. “God spoke to me and said, ‘If you preserve the culture, the culture will preserve you.’” Taking that to heart, Singleton-Prather strives to remain connected to folks in the Beaufort community and is passionate about making a positive difference. She takes steps to deter violence in young people and initiates programming at a community center that includes educational information about Gullah arts and heritage.


She is the founder of ASE Gullah Education LLC, an organization that strives to “educate the world through the arts, about the rich and unique Gullah culture that was birthed out of the trans-Atlantic slave trade during the making of America.” She also serves as the vice president of the Gullah Cultural Alliance. Singleton-Prather is also the director and producer of Broadway Back In Da' Woods Productions, a full-stage musical theater experience featuring the Gullah Kinfolk.


She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Telly Award (2001), which honors outstanding local, regional and cable television commercials and programs; the Rosalie Pazant Education Award (2011), the Brandy Foot Gullah Preservation Award (2011), and the National Black Storyteller’s Aesop Award.

About the Folk Heritage Awards


For more information about the Folk Heritage Awards, please contact Laura Marcus Green (803-734-8764), South Carolina Folklife & Traditional Arts Program Director.