Posted by: palmettoislandgirl | April 29, 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Gullah Geechee culture on display during the Penn Center Heritage Days Celebration on St. Helena Island, SC.

“The Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor is home to the Gullah people in the Carolinas, and the Geechee in Georgia and Florida – cultural groups descended from enslaved peoples from West and Central Africa. The Gullah and Geechee share similar linguistic, artistic and societal traits that have remained relatively intact for several centuries due to the geographic isolation of the region. The cultures represent the many ways that Africans in the Americas maintained their homeland roots while simultaneously assimilating aspects of new cultures they encountered during and after enslavement.”1

“One of the most notable historic places to visit within the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is the Penn School Historic District on St. Helena Island in South Carolina. The district is a National Historic Landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The 47-acre area contains 18 historic buildings dating from the mid 1800s. Brick Church, the oldest building still standing, was constructed in 1855 by by slaves for early Baptist planters in St. Helena. It was later used as a church, community center and school for both black and white abolitionists during the Reconstruction Era and is one of the earliest schools for the newly freed slaves. Missionaries constructed the other buildings on the island when they came there to assist former Gullah slaves with their newfound freedom after their owners abandoned the island during the Civil War. In addition to the early school and missionary buildings, the district also includes Gantt Cottage where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Southern Leadership Conference often met during the African American Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.”2

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  1. I’ve heard about the Gullah people since college! I was able to see an exhibit of basket weavings by a Gullah woman. Her craft was phenomenally beautiful. But mostly I admire that people were able to so fiercely defend and continue their own culture for such a long time….


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