"Life is Better in Flip Flops": Erasure of Coastal Indigenous and Gullah Geechee History and Communities by the Beach Vacation Industry
Author(s): Katherine Seeber
This is an abstract from the "From Tomb Raider to Indiana Jones: Pitfalls and Potential Promise of Archaeology in Pop Culture" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Beaches have long attracted day-trippers and vacation goers who come to soak up the sun, splash in the ocean, and collect shells along their expanse. Nearly all coastal areas have their beach attractions and accompanying tourist industries. But the beaches along the American Southeastern coastline have long been contested spaces, where Indigenous, Euro-American, and African American communities have clashed for land and property rights, among other things. This paper will discuss the ways in which the vacation and tourist industry in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina benefits from pop culture notions of the beach; pristine, uncomplicated, neutral places where the weight of the worlds problems fade into the sunset. Aspects of film and television, the internet, and particularly social media platforms will be analyzed to discuss how popular notions about vacation beaches maintain their ahistorical reputations. Furthermore, by effectively erasing Hilton Head’s deep Indigenous and Gullah/Geechee past, how these pop culture ideas of beach and vacation places perpetuate stereotypes of each community. Lastly, I will discuss how contemporary Gullah communities on Hilton Head are using these same platforms, combined with public archaeology to help regain control of the dominant vacation narratives so pervasive on this island.
Cite this Record
"Life is Better in Flip Flops": Erasure of Coastal Indigenous and Gullah Geechee History and Communities by the Beach Vacation Industry. Katherine Seeber. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450389)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 25890