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October Is Gullah Geechee Month in NC, SC, GA, FL
Published:
10/2/2014 12:45:37 PM


 
October 2014 is declared "Gullah Geechee Awareness Month" and "Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Month" in the four states in the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which comprises North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

The recognition enlists citizens to learn more about Gullah Geechee culture and history and to explore partnership opportunities with the Gullah Geechee Commission. In addition, it encourages travelers to engage in heritage tourism by visiting Gullah Geechee sites and communities.

The Georgia proclamation for "Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Month," signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, states, in part: "It is important to preserve the endangered traditions of this noble subsection of Georgia's population by passing down its vibrant and festive customs to each new generation as well as promoting awareness of the Gullah Geechee heritage."

Proclamations for South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida are for the observance of "Gullah Geechee Awareness Month." Each acknowledges that the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was established by federal legislation in 2006. It is the only National Heritage Area that promotes the living history of an African American population; and the Alliance of National Heritage Areas is established through the National Park Service to encourage heritage development in the areas of natural resource conservation, historic preservation, community revitalization, economic development, recreation enhancement, the arts, folk life, education, and interpretation.

The South Carolina proclamation, signed by Gov. Nikki Haley, states that "increasing awareness and understanding of Gullah Geechee Culture leads to a deeper appreciation for the significant contributions of Gullah Geechee people to our state and nation."

Gov. Pat McCrory states in the proclamation for North Carolina that "Gullah Geechee culture is a benefit to heritage tourism within the State of North Carolina, particularly in Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender Counties."

In his Florida proclamation, Gov. Rick Scott notes that the coastal counties of Nassau, Duval and St. Johns "possess the historic presence of Gullah Geechee people in the area dating from the colonial period."

Highway signs identify the Corridor at the entry and exit of each county in the corridor along U.S. 17/A1A from Pender County, N.C., to St Johns County, Fla.

"The encouragement and support of Governors Nathan Deal, Nikki Haley, Pat McCrory and Rick Scott inspire us as we celebrate and uplift the extraordinary culture of Gullah Geechee families and communities," said Dr. J. Herman Blake, Acting Executive Director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. "We will continue to identify and analyze the intangible cultural elements that make Gullah Geechee people worthy of this recognition."

The Commission encourages residents and visitors to use this month to visit Gullah Geechee sites throughout the corridor. The following sites are but a few along the Corridor that actively promote Gullah Geechee culture:

---Florida
Kingsland Plantation, Jacksonville
American Beach Museum, American Beach
Fort Mose Historic Park, St. Augustine
Ritz-Laville Museum, Jacksonville

---Georgia
Geechee Kunda Museum, Riceboro
Pin Point Heritage Museum, Savannah
Sapelo Island Visitors Center, Darien

---South Carolina
Penn Center, St. Helena Island
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site, Sullivans Island
Brookgreen Gardens, Pawleys Island
Gullah Museum, Georgetown

---North Carolina
USS North Carolina, Wilmington
Orton Plantation, Winnabow
Moores Creek National Battlefield, Currie

About The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission:

The Corridor was created to:
-Recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history African Americans known as Gullah Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida;

-Assist state and local governments and public and pri­vate entities in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida in interpreting the story of the Gullah Geechee and preserving Gullah Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music.

-Assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with GullahGeechee for the benefit and education of the public.
 

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