The Gullah Geechee people are direct descendants of Africans who were brought as slaves to the United States for the plantations in the south from mainly the West African region, from countries such as Sierra Leone and Ghana amongst others.
Over the years, the community have created their own unique culture, which can still be seen today in many aspects of their lives, such as language, art, craft, cuisine and music.
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a heritage area that covers 12,000 square miles of coastline from Wilmington (North Carolina) to St. Augustine (Florida), was designated and authorised as part of the National Heritage Act in 2006.
After many years of work, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Commission has now released a management plan for the corridor that acts as a template for both the preservation and public recognition of this unique part of African American culture, that is slowly being eroded by development.
The plan, which starts with a description of the Gullah Geechee people, aims to guide readers with information regarding the area and is also a call to action to “enlighten and empower Gullah Geechee to sustain the culture”.
The document, a joint effort between the Commission and the National Park Service, addresses the public, stake holders, perspective partners as well as community members and asks for feedback to ensure the public’s input regarding the future development of the area.