Gullah Geechee Corridor
Saturday, February 02, 2019 Charleston County Library

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Join members of the Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor from February to May at CCPL branches to learn more about the Gullah history, heritage, and culture. 

From the Corridor website: The Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans who came from different ethnic and social groups. They were enslaved together on the isolated sea and barrier islands that span what is now designated as the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor – a stretch of the U.S. coastline that extends  from Pender County, North Carolina to St. John’s County, Florida and for 30 miles inland.

The result was an intense interaction among Africans from different language groups in settings where enslaved Africans and their descendants formed the majority.  Over time, they developed the creole Gullah Geechee language as a means of comunicating with each other and they were also able to preserve many African practices in their language, arts, crafts and cuisine.



Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage
Monday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m.
West Ashley Library
Celebrate Black History Month with a presentation from the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, and create a Philip Simmons ironwork-themed craft.


Tracing Your Gullah Geechee Roots
Saturday, Feb. 16 from 1-3 p.m.
Mt. Pleasant Regional Library
Mount Pleasant is home to many historic Gullah Geechee freedmen communities that line Highway 17. Join this special workshop to find out if your Gullah Geechee story includes one of these communities where the traditional culture, like the making of sweetgrass baskets, still lives.


Gullah Geechee Roots on Barbados: A Diaspora Conversation
Saturday, Feb. 23 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Otranto Road Regional Library
Listen to a presentation about the Barbadian roots of the Gullah Geechee community by Rhoda Green, founder of the Barbados and Carolinas Legacy Foundation. Come learn more about the Africans who were bought to the Carolinas by Barbadian planters in the 17th century and how they informed what became Gullah Geechee culture. This program is made available through a partnership with the Carolinas Legacy Foundation.


Basket Weaving with Jenni Faye Singleton (children)
Saturday, Feb. 23 at 12:30 p.m.
Join us as we learn about the Gullah Geechee culture and the history of basket weaving


Local Legends: A Celebration of Gullah Geechee History (children)
Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 11 a.m.
Otranto Road Regional Library
Celebrate Black History Month with a presentation from the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, and create a Philip Simmons ironwork-themed craft.


Inland Rice Fields Traveling Trunk Exhibit
Throughout March
John’s Island Regional Library
Inland Rice Fields Traveling Trunk is an educational tool that includes replica artifacts and historical items relating to 18th century inland rice fields of the Lowcountry. The trunk is on loan from Charleston County Transportation Development.


Conversation with Chef Charlotte Jenkins
Wednesday, March 6 from 2-4 p.m.
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
Join a conversation with Charlotte Jenkins, the legendary Gullah Geechee chef, restauranteur and author of “Gullah Cuisine: By Land and By Sea” from Mt. Pleasant. The discussion will be moderated by K.J. Kearney and followed by a Q&A session with the audience.


Human Library Series: Get to Know Gullah Geechee Culture and Traditions
Saturday, March 9 from 2-4 p.m.
Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library
This session features Gullah community member Thomalind Martin Polite. Thomalind, a Charleston native, speech therapist and mother of two, will share her journey to discover more about her Gullah and African family roots. Thomalind is a direct descendant of a woman named Priscilla who was brought to South Carolina on a slave ship from Sierra Leone when she was 10 years old. Thomalind created a documentary called "Priscilla's Legacy," which will be screened at this event. This program is co-sponsored by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.


Gullah Geechee Documentary Film Festival
Saturday, April 27 from 2-4 p.m.
John’s Island Regional Library
Save-the-date for a free series of documentary films that showcase the power and strength of Gullah Geechee culture. Stay after the films to participate in a Q&A session.


Chef Kevin Mitchell Presents “Black Hands to White Mouths”
Saturday, May 11 from 2-4 p.m.
John’s Island Regional Library
Chef Kevin Mitchell will discuss his research of Charleston’s enslaved and free African-American cooks. “From Black Hands to White Mouths: Charleston’s Freed and Enslaved Cooks and their Influence on the Food of the South” is a profoundly important, historical work that reclaims and restores the vital role that black cooks and African foodways had in shaping the culinary heritage of Charleston and our nation.


“Combee”: Freedom-Seekers of the Combahee River Raid
Saturday, May 18 from 2-4 p.m.
John’s Island Regional Library
Join historian Dr. Edda Fields-Black, and learn more about this important and little-known chapter of Gullah Geechee and American history when more than 750 enslaved men, women and children were freed on one day in June 1863 from the plantations that lined South Carolina's Combahee River. This program is sponsored by the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.


John's Island Regional Library's Leaves and Letters Garden will host a dedicated garden space for growing Gullah Geechee vegetables this spring and rice this summer. Special thanks to Wormsloe Institute for Environmental History for providing the African cultivar seeds.