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The Gullah Geechee

By Linda Tancs

Gullah Geechee is a unique, Creole language spoken in the coastal areas of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida by descendants of Africans who were enslaved on the rice, indigo and cotton plantations of the lower Atlantic Coast. Their culture is celebrated via the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a 12,000 square mile, federal National Heritage Area. From Pender County, North Carolina, to St. Johns County, Florida, the corridor comprises places of significance to the Gullah Geechee people both historically and culturally. Attractions include McLeod Plantation in South Carolina (the only plantation in the state to tell the story of slavery from the perspective of the enslaved), Harrington School on Georgia’s St. Simons Island (the main educational structure for three Gullah Geechee communities) and Fort Mose Historic State Park in St. Augustine, Florida, site of the first free black settlement in what is now the United States. 

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