Roll, Jordan, Roll represents the culmination of Ulmann’s multi-year photographic engagement with Gullah people—descendants of enslaved Africans who live on the coastal plains and islands of the southern United States and who maintain cultural, linguistic, and religious connections to Central and West Africa. Ulmann’s photographs were made at the Lang Syne Plantation in South Carolina, where novelist Julia Peterkin lived. Although Peterkin provided an essay for the book, Ulmann’s pictures are not illustrations of her paternalistic narrative. Rich in tonal range and unified in soft focus, these portraits reveal a distinct photographic account, attuned to the dignity and grace of Gullah people.
Gallery label from 2022