insurgent thought; instead, Galloway takes his place in a network of power that included many individuals, ideas, and practices. As a result of The Waterman's Song, our sense of coastal Carolina is changed, changed utterly. In depicting the African American maritime past, David Cecelski has uncovered a legacy that lives with us today--in the landscape itself and in the practices of contemporary maritime laborers. One skill that reflects a particular kind of resourcefulness, and which runs like a leitmotif through Cecelski's study, is the ability of African American watermen to read "the book of nature." For example, in his 1895 Recollections of Slavery, Allen Parker recalled, "[B]eing out of doors a great deal of time, and having no books . . . [we] learned many things from the book of nature, which were unknown to white people, notwithstanding their knowledge of books." In this case, Parker is referring to his ability to fish at night, a skill that may have been originally learned from native Algonquian fishermen many generations earlier. The intelligence and interpretive skills of black watermen like Parker are impressive in their own right. But there is also here a lesson that transcends the particular situation
Southern Cultures – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Jan 2, 2002
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