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Local Gullah Artist Releases Second Edition of Book About Gullah Recipes



By: Krystal Yeadon,

Author and Gullah Storyteller Theresa Jenkins Hilliard recently released her third book entitled, Mama Doonk’s Gullah Recipes (2nd Edition). This book features 25 plus bonus recipes, along with additional anecdotes made for reminiscing and a chuckle. Hilliard’s first book, Mama Doonk’s Gullah Recipes: A Celebration of Charleston’s Gullah-Geechee Culture and Cuisine, was published in October 2018. Born and reared on Edisto Island, she spent much of her early life with her grandmother, Susan Jenkins, known to her as “Mama” and to others as “Mama Doonk.” Many of the recipes in these books were Mama Doonk’s own, often prepared with the help of Hilliard as a young girl. It started out as a scrapbook of recipes for Hilliard’s children. The book pays homage to her ancestors with field-to-table recipes prepared by Mama Doonk, Hilliard’s mother, aunt, and Hilliard herself.

Hilliard’s second book, A Guide to Charleston’s African American Historical Markers, published in November 2020, focuses on African American historical markers that can be found throughout the city of Charleston, South Carolina and some nearby cities. Readers are invited to tour sites where free blacks lived, worked, attended school and church, and owned businesses during the period of slavery and the Reconstruction Era.  Some sites have disappeared while others have been repurposed or remodeled, making them unrecognizable. In those instances, the markers serve to commemorate where those original structures once stood. According to Hilliard, Charlestonians and tourists can use the book as an educational guide to the Gullah Geechee culture and black history. It was also written in remembrance of those enslaved Africans and African Americans once associated with those sites.

All three of Hilliard’s books can be purchased on her website,,, and where other books are sold. They are also available as digital e-books at The Gullah Recipes app can be downloaded in the iOS App Store and Android Google Play Store. Hilliard has also concocted a spice collection of three seasonings and two rubs with Charleston-inspired names to enhance the flavor of pork, beef, chicken, seafood, barbeque, and other Lowcountry dishes.

Besides being an author of three books, Hilliard is also a Gullah storyteller, presenter, artist-in-residence, certified City of Charleston tour guide, docent at the Old Slave Mart Museum, and business owner of Mama Doonk’s Gullah. Hilliard continues to stir up Gullah food creations for her family and friends. She has been featured in the Charleston City Paper, The Post and Courier, Charleston Magazine, Charleston Inside Out Magazine, Garden and Gun Magazine, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Black Southern Belle, and on National Geographic Video Magazine, Fox 24 News Now, Lowcountry Live, and Keeping It Krystal Klear. She is a recipient of President Obama’s Drum Major for Volunteer Award. Hilliard has presented at the MOJA Arts Festival, Piccolo Spoleto, museums, schools, and many other venues in and out of state. Post-COVID-19 season, she will be available again for in-person book signings, step-on tours, walking tours, and other Gullah presentations. Hilliard is currently available for virtual presentations.

For more information about Mama Doonk’s Gullah, Theresa Jenkins Hilliard, and her services, contact her at (843) 364-3064,, the Mama Doonk’s Gullah Recipes Facebook page or

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