For Griffin Lotson, the past has always been a part of the present. A seventh-generation Geechee Gullah descendant, Lotson was raised on stories of the men and women who came before him.

“I grew up in McIntosh County and my grandfather, who was born in 1894, he was still alive when I was born. He died in 1973 when I was about 19. He would take me to St. Simons in the 60s, and I would hear the stories from him,” Lotson recalled. “We’d just be sitting around ... chewing the fat, so to speak, and you’d hear these fantastic stories. There would be fairy tales and fantasies, but you’d also hear real stories.”

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