President & CEO, Central Carolina Community Foundation; Former Chair, Richland County Library JoAnn Turnquist has held leadership positions with the Clorox Company,...
Also known as Aunt Pearlie Sue
Educator, storyteller, historian on the Gullah culture
Anita Singleton-Prather grew up thinking she would study law and become a civil rights attorney. Instead she became a master storyteller, author and educator. Her work has influenced civil rights and has preserved stories and history about the Gullah culture and South Carolina. Known as Aunt Pearlie Sue, she has performed at the World Bank and the White House, but her roots are in Beaufort. “As Aunt Pearlie Sue, I get to say things and address issues that maybe Anita Prather can’t say,” Prather said. She added, “There’s only one earth. We can decide to destroy it together or we can decide to try to preserve it together.”
Her advice to young people: “You have to love yourself first, before you’re ready for someone else to love you. And there’s no such thing as my better half.
About the Recipient
Aunt Pearlie Sue is the creation of Anita Singleton-Prather, a native of the Sea Islands of Beaufort, South Carolina. Based on her grandmother, Aunt Pearlie Sue's character has entertained audiences with Gullah-flavored folktales for over 20 years from the schoolhouse to the White House.
In addition to being a renowned master storyteller, Prather is an educator, historian, business woman, writer, singer, actress and director/producer. She is the founder and artistic director of the musical performance group the Gullah Kinfolk. As a storyteller and singer, Prather has performed at many festivals, the Beaufort Gullah Festival, Penn Heritage Days Festival, Woodlands Festival, Spoleto USA International Arts Festival in Charleston, SC and San Francisco Festival of the Sea, just to name a few .
Her original movie, My Man Done Wrong, along with other film projects, has been a part of the film festival circuit to include the Jamerican Film Festival in Kingston, Jamaica; Capitol City Black Film Festival, Austin TX; Black Hollywood and San Francisco Film Festivals in California. She has appeared in the Hollywood film Forrest Gump and also on television Food Network Channel Holiday special, Christmas Across America, hosted by Rachel Ray.
In addition to her participation in many SCETV educational documentaries, Prather wrote and co-produced, Tales from the Land of Gullah and Circle Unbroken: Gullah Journey from Africa to America filmed with the nationally acclaimed Gullah Kinfolk. These have been broadcasted on PBS nationwide and is also the title of her award-winning DVD and a traveling museum exhibit created around her animated character. This 20,000 sq. ft. exhibit, originated at the nation’s top children’s museum, the Children’s Museum of Houston, Texas in 2007 and has been touring since throughout the United States and Canada. It was estimated, that over a million young people have been introduced to the Gullah culture through this interactive exhibit. She is also co-producer, writer and featured storyteller on Gullah CD’s and DVD’s.
She has partnered with South Carolina Educational Television to create an award-winning interactive website on their children’s Knowitall.org/gullahnet that also features her animated character.
Prather, a mother of three and grandmother of seven, is also a curriculum coordinator for the Education of Gullah Culture Through the Arts. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Howard University and a master's + 30 degree in education from the University of South Carolina. She is a member of New Covenant Fellowship International Ministries of Beaufort where she has been ordained as a licensed minister of the Gospel. She served as worship leader and trustee board member.
Through her Gullah heritage, Prather continues to be a “Keeper of the culture,” creatively entertaining and educating audiences around the world of all ages and nationalities about the rich unique African experience in America.
About Women Vision SC
Women Vision SC is a program that focuses on issues affecting women throughout the state and the nation and a new generation of young people pursuing public service for their communities and the state at large. The program is produced and hosted by former SCETV president Linda O’Bryon.