Beulah Pyatt Interview 2015


Beulah Pyatt Interview 2015


Ameris, Quentin (Interviewer);Crawford, Eric (Interviewer)





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In this 2015 interview, Dr. Eric Crawford, Coastal Carolina University faculty researcher, and a student (Quentin Ameris) interview the owner and proprietor of the Pyatt General Store on Sandy Island, Mrs. Beulah Pyatt. They discuss that, even though she was not born and raised on the island, it quickly became her home. She talks about how she first moved onto the island, her interactions with the locals and how they invited her into the fold. She also confesses that, in the early years, she felt almost like she was trapped. She didn't have a boat of her own and, because everyone else worked during the day, she was essentially left alone with her newborn child for long swathes of time. She connected with the local community quickly, though, and through this she became tied into New Bethel Baptist Church, a local landmark. She discusses the importance of song in worship and as an expression of spirituality, including the usage of "Shouting" and "Stomping". Ultimately, this is tied into her family and their involvement on the island. Finally, they move to the creation of the Pyatt General Store and its role in her family. She established the business in the late eighties, working when she wanted and becoming her own boss. It serves not only her local community, but as a gift shop for visitors to the island. This interview was conducted at the Pyatt General Store on Sandy Island, South Carolina. This oral history was developed as part of a student-driven project on Sandy Island by The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University in 2015, resulting in the publication At Low Tide: Voices of Sandy Island (2017). Its digitization is made possible by the National Historic Publications & Records Commission at the National Archives.


Gullahs--South Carolina--Music;Gullahs--South Carolina--Sandy Island--Religion;Gullahs--South Carolina--Sandy Island--Interviews;Sandy Island (S.C.)--Religious life and customs;Sandy Island (S.C.)--History;African American churches--South Carolina;Sandy Island (S.C.)--Social life and customs;Spirituals (Songs)--South Carolina--Sandy Island;Pyatt General Store;Traditional medicine--South Carolina;Ring shout (Dance);Stomp dance;Pyatt, Beulah;Pyatt, Carolyn;Pyatt, Emily Collins;Pyatt, Rommy;Pyatt, Sam;Sandy Island (S.C.);Bucksport (S.C.);Waccamaw River (N.C. and S.C.);New Bethel Baptist Church (Sandy Island, S.C.)


This interview is protected by the copyright of the interviewee and The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University. Any form of alteration, reproduction or commercial use of the interviews or other material is prohibited without the written consent of both the interviewee and a representative of The Athenaeum Press. Citations for scholarly purposes must clearly acknowledge the name of the interviewee, the date and The Athenaeum Press at Coastal Carolina University.



Beulah Pyatt Interview 2015