Julie Dash's acclaimed film, Daughters of the Dust, was a cause for celebration, a lyrical portrait of a family of complex, independent African-American women. Now she returns to the rich Gullah culture of the Sea Islands in a remarkable new vel that reacquaints us with her fascinating characters, expanding their story in deeper and even more magically compelling ways. From Harlem at the height of the celebrated literary Renaissance to the isolated islands off the Carolina coast, Daughters of the Dust chronicles the lives of the Peazants, a large, proud extended family. Amelia Varnes leaves New York to return to her mother's home and trace her family's history. Through her evolving friendship with her cousin Elizabeth, Amelia enters the lives of the Peazants, tracing their origins to the early Africans brought to the islands more than a hundred years before. As she listens to the colorful stories, the lies they tell, their history comes alive in the poetry of their language and in the music of their voices. Past and present intertwine in their stories of Africa, of slavery and emancipation, of turbulent passions and the joys of family life, and of a people who shaped their destiny with their own strong hands. Amelia's pursuit of kwledge becomes a journey of self-illumination: In learning to treasure her family's traditions, she ultimately reclaims her heritage.
Julie Dash wrote and directed the acclaimed film Daughters of the Dust and has directed numerous short films and music videos. A former Fellow of the American Film Institute and winner of a Guggenheim Award, she is currently at work on a new film project, as well as a second novel.