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Sumter's Turkish people topic at Monday meeting

Author will discuss new research into origins

BY IVY MOORE
Features contributor
Posted 2/14/20

Glen Browder, co-author of "South Carolina's Turkish People, A History and Ethnology," will be the speaker at Monday's meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society. His topic for the 7:30 p.m. meeting at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 …

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Sumter's Turkish people topic at Monday meeting

Author will discuss new research into origins

Posted

Glen Browder, co-author of "South Carolina's Turkish People, A History and Ethnology," will be the speaker at Monday's meeting of the Sumter County Genealogical Society. His topic for the 7:30 p.m. meeting at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St., will be "Dramatic New Developments Signal End to Debate About Cheraw Indians and Turkish People in Sumter County."

Browder explained that "The Sumter Indians and Turkish people have been arguing about their origins and heritages in Sumter County for decades. The former group insists that they and the 'so-called Turks' are of Native American ancestry and history; and they tout the certification of their Cheraw tribal story by the South Carolina Commission for Minority Affairs in 2013 as affirmation of their claim.

"However, the latter group asserts (based on a 2018 book published by University of South Carolina Press, oral history, and personal experience) that they are people of Arabic descent and that their community has never been a Native American tribe."

In the extensively researched 2018 book written with Terri Ann Ognibene, the authors' "consultation with experts and then DNA (genetic) testing, "as well as interviews," with Sumter County residents identifying as "Turkish people" led them to a conclusion about their origins and ethnicity.

Browder will discuss dramatic new developments signaling closure of this controversy.

The speaker holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Emory University and is a professor emeritus of political science and American democracy at Jacksonville State University in Alabama. A former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Browder also served Alabama in its House of Representatives and as secretary of state.

A Sumter native, he has published four books, "The Future of American Democracy: A Former Congressman's Unconventional Analysis," University Press of America, 2002; "The South's New Racial Politics: Inside the Race Game of Southern History," NewSouth Books, 2009; "Stealth Reconstruction: An Untold Story of Racial Politics in Recent Southern History (with Artemisia Stanberry)," NewSouth Books, 2010; and "South Carolina's Turkish People, A History and Ethnology," with Ognibene, University of South Carolina Press, 2018.

The public is invited to attend Browder's Monday evening presentation at no charge.

The Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May. Admission is free to the public, and refreshments are served following the presentations. Interested persons can join the society at the monthly meetings. Membership includes four newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for family. Call the society's research center for more information at (803) 774-3901.