Virgil’s Gullah Kitchen and Bar has been open for a little more than a year on Main Street in Historic College Park. Hapeville residents Gee and Juan Smalls are the owners and take pride in serving up the staple foods of the low country: red rice, crab rice, okra soup, corn muffins. It’s all the flavors of the Charleston area with a large side of Gullah Geechee culture.
In his new book, Black Enough, Man Enough, Gee writes about his struggle to fit in. It’s one man’s riveting, contemporary journey to authentically live his unique identity. In a dichotomous world that’s often black and white, he embraces the many diverse shades of gray.
“I knew I was different, teased for my light bright skin, soft curly afro, freckly face….” says Gee. “Growing up the child of a black daddy and white momma in the black Gullah Geechee culture on James Island, South Carolina, in the 80s, I was an outsider.”
Gee’s adolescent identity crisis led to a trip down the aisle with his high school sweetheart, the joy of fatherhood, and then into the shadows of the down-low before divorce and a tumultuous custody battle.
“As I embraced all of who I am, I developed my voice, using it to speak out on the racial and LGBT equality movements,” Gee shares. This is a story of self-discovery, diversity and acceptance as Gee comes into his own.
Black Enough, Man Enough is available on Amazon, Kindle and Apple iBooks.