Revisiting Daughters of the Dust: A Gullah-Geechee Novel

Image of Daughters of the Dust book cover

“I am the first and the last. I am the honored one and the scorned one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am the barren one and many are my daughters. I am the silence that you cannot understand. I am the utterance of my name.” Nana Peazant played by Cora Lee Day

Image of Julie Dash, a Black woman, with curly hair, eyeglasses, and wearing earrings looking at the camera.
Photograph: Maarten de Boer

Thirty years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries with her Sundance award-winning film (Best Cinematography) Daughters of the Dust. She became the first African American woman to have a wide theatrical release of her feature film. The Library of Congress placed Daughters of the Dust and her UCLA MFA senior thesis Illusions in the National Film Registry. These two films join a select group of American films preserved and protected as national treasures by the Librarian of Congress.

Following the success of Daughters of the Dust, her Sundance award-winning 1991 film, Julie Dash’s stand-alone novel tells another rich, historical tale of the Gullah-Geechee people: a multigenerational story about a Brooklyn College anthropology student, Amelia Peazant, who finds an unexpected homecoming when she heads to the South Carolina Sea Islands to study her ancestors. Daughters of the Dust: A Gullah-Geechee Novel is a vibrant story that chronicles not only the lives of the Peazant family, but also effortlessly and seamlessly blends African histories, folktales, languages, human-geography, and social-psychology. It is a compelling and moving story of ancestral reconciliation, the remembrance of restoration and legacy, and unbreakable familial bonds.

Image of Bahni Turpin, a Black woman with long dread locs smiling at the camera.
Photo by Linda Posnick

The Daughters of the Dust: A Gullah-Geechee Novel audiobook is narrated by Bahni Turpin, who played Iona Peazant in the 1991 film.

Join us virtually Wednesday, June 30th as we welcome Director, Writer, and Producer Julie Dash, Actress and Audiobook narrator Bahni Turpin, and Founder of Black Chick Media, Keya Crenshaw for an evening of reflection, celebration, and discussion of the Penguin Random House release of the new audiobook Daughters of the Dust: A Gullah-Geechee Novel.


Note: This program is offered through the African American Heritage Center (AAHC), housed at the Macon Library. AAHC programs are open to anyone, and everyone, interested in celebrating, exploring, and discussing the African Diaspora. If you have questions please contact Sheena Daree Miller at

This AAHC virtual program will take place via Zoom. For optimal participation, you will need either a computer, mobile device, or tablet with audio and webcam abilities, or a telephone to call into the event. A link and number to access the meeting will be sent to registrants one hour before the meeting, so please keep an eye out for the email; check your spam folder if you do not see a confirmation email.