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Between the Waters: NEW Compelling Documentary Nov. 20, 9:00 pm on SCC

November 4, 2017 - Posted in Education by Bette Jamison

Photo of cabin courtesy of the Sun-News

Between the Waters is SCETV’s immersive transmedia documentary that introduces the historic Hobcaw Barony historic site to a worldwide audience.

Hobcaw, located on the coast near Georgetown, was the location of extensive Native American settlement; a land grant to the Lords Proprietors; part of the South Carolina Lowcountry Rice Kingdom; the hunting retreat of financier Bernard Baruch and a haven for world leaders, including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill. Visitors to the website take a self-directed virtual tour of Hobcaw, moving down the roads and rice canals, entering the buildings, listening to the stories of former residents and relatives of those who lived there.

Now SCETV has produced a 30-minute broadcast documentary called Between the Waters, adding an essential companion media component to the interactive narrative.

By telling the story of Hobcaw Barony in a compelling, concise half-hour, the Between the Waters documentary takes a deeper look at the Native American and African American history of Hobcaw. For thousands of years the area, known as the Waccamaw Neck, was home to Native Americans, whose imprint is visible in the shell middens that line the banks of the saltwater marshes. In 1663, King Charles II divided the colony among eight English noblemen, the Lords Proprietors, with Sir George Carteret receiving the portion that included Hobcaw Barony. Over the centuries the land was parceled into more than a dozen rice plantations, contributing to the development of South Carolina’s legendary Rice Kingdom. Here, thousands of enslaved Africans labored in unimaginably harsh conditions, making the rice planters among the wealthiest people in the country.

After the Civil War, as rice cultivation fell into decline and the great fortunes faded, wealthy Northerners began buying land on the Waccamaw Neck for recreational purposes. Among the first was South Carolina native and wealthy financier Bernard Baruch. In 1904 he purchased several old rice plantations as a winter hunting retreat, and by 1907 he had reassembled the original Hobcaw Barony. At that time Hobcaw was home to more than 100 descendants of enslaved Africans, living in conditions little changed since before the Civil War. Employment was scarce, and most of the residents of Hobcaw went to work for Baruch.

During the Baruch era Hobcaw became a haven for world leaders including Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, as well as writers, businessmen, journalists, artists and movie stars, and the longtime occupants of Hobcaw  provided vital services as guides, caretakers and servants. In the 1930s Belle Baruch, Bernard’s oldest daughter, bought the property from her father, and at her death she founded the Belle W. Baruch Foundation, securing Hobcaw for education and research and saving it from commercial development. Today it is home to the University of South Carolina’s Belle W. Baruch Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences Marine Lab and Clemson’s Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science.

The Between the Waters documentary can serve as a valuable resource for social studies teachers whose curriculum includes Native American and African American history, as well as the history of environmental conservation.

It can also serve as an introduction to the Between the Waters web site, which provides in-depth exploration of these and many other themes with a wealth of choices for increasing student engagement.

VIEW: Carolina Stories: Between the Waters premieres November 16 at 7:00 p.m. on SCETV as part of the Carolina Stories series.

Repeats: November 19 at 3:30 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. - both on SCETV and November 20 at 9:00 p.m. on SCC.





NEW ETV Teacher Recertification course, recommended for teachers of all subject areas in grades 6-12, is currently being developed based on the Between the Waters content. This new course should be available in Spring 2018. 

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