Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

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Film Screening and Discussion: “Charlie’s Place”

Saturday, January 25, 2020 | 2 pm – 4 pm
Johns Island Regional Library | 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island SC

During segregation, the Myrtle Beach area was a popular destination for Gullah Geechee people who flocked to Atlantic Beach, “The Black Pearl”, when Jim Crow laws prohibited them from using other beaches. “Charlie’s Place, tells the story of a nightclub in Myrtle Beach that was a significant stop on the Chitlin’ Circuit in the segregated South.  Join  us to learn more about this history when we screen the EMMY-award winning documentary, “Charlie’s Place” with its director, Betsy Newman.



Discover Your Gullah Geechee Roots: Civil War + Reconstruction (Four dates)

Saturday, February 8, 2020 | 1 pm – 4 pm
Part 1: Finding Your Ancestors in Freedmen’s Bureau Records
Part 2: Documenting Ancestors Who Served in the United States Colored Troop
Baxter Patrick Public Library | 2858 South Grimball Road, James Island, SC
No pre-registration required.

Saturday, February 15, 2020 | 1 pm – 4 pm
Part 1: Documenting Ancestors Who Served in the United States Colored Troops
Part 2: Guided, hands-on practice in library computer lab.
St. Helena Branch Library  | 6355 Jonathan Francis Road, St. Helena Island, SC
Call 843-818-4587 to pre-register.

Saturday, February 29, 2020 | Noon – Close | Main Library
Using Millions of Free Records on Family Search

Charleston County Public Library | South Carolina Room | 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC
Call 843-818-4587 to pre-register.

Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 3 pm – 5 pm
Part 1: Finding Your Ancestors in Freedmen’s Bureau Records”
Part 2: Documenting Ancestors Who Served in the United States Colored Troops
Johns Island Regional Library | 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island SC
No pre-registration required.

The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor has many sites you can visit to learn about the Gullah Geechee experience during the Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877).  Join us to learn how you can research the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the United States Colored Troops to learn more about your own Gullah Geechee family history during this era. We’ve partnered with the Center for Family History at the International African American Museum to present multiple programs designed to introduce you to these records and practice using them in guided workshops.


Kingsley Heritage Celebration (Two dates)

Saturday, February 15, 2020
Saturday, February 22, 2020
Kingsley Plantation  | 11676 Palmetto Ave |  Jacksonville, FL 32226

Held every year at Kingsley Plantation, this living history event is spread across two weekends.   On the 15th, Kingsley Plantation will be joined by Kingsley descendant, Dr. Johnnetta Cole and the Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters. Dr. Cole has been an anthropologist, an educator, and Director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art. On the 22nd, reenactors portray an interactive living history timeline.  For more information call 904-251-3537.


“Edisto Island: The African American Journey” (Two dates)

 Thursday, February 20, 2020 | 6 pm
Edisto Island Public Library
1589 Highway 174 | Trinity Episcopal Hall
Edisto IslandSC

Thursday,  February 27, 2020 | 6: 30 pm
Mandarin Community Club |12447 Mandarin Rd | Jacksonville FL 

A book talk with author Greg Estevez, the great-great grandson of Henry Hutchinson, a former enslaved African who built the Hutchinson House on Edisto Island, South Carolina in 1885. Greg’s family has deep Gullah Geechee roots on Edisto, which span for seven or more generations. The pages of his book, “Edisto Island: The African American Journey” (2019) unlock some of the oral history of Edisto Island as told to Greg by past elders, long-time residents and present historians. The book dives deep into the rich Gullah history, culture, and customs of Black Edistonians past and present.


Film Screening and Discussion: Beyond Barbados
Saturday, February 22, 2020  | 3 pm – 5 pm
Johns Island Regional Library | 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island SC 

Rhoda Greene of the Barbados & Carolinas Legacy Foundation hosts a free afternoon of documentary films that will help you better understand how the experiences of both the enslaved and slaveowners on British colonial plantations in the Caribbean shaped and informed the successful cultivation of Indigo, rice and other cash crops in South Carolina and Georgia. Presented as part of the series, “Indigo: The Color that Changed the World” hosted by the Charleston County Public Library. FILMS: “BEYOND BARBADOS: THE CAROLINAS CONNECTION”: a new, one-hour documentary film exploring the history and cultural connections between Barbados and South Carolina. Shown courtesy of South Carolina ETV.  “BLUE ALCHEMY: STORIES OF INDIGO” is an independent, feature-length documentary about the history, culture, and revival of the blue dye. It’s also about remarkable people around the globe who are using indigo in projects intended to improve life in their communities, preserve cultural integrity, and bring beauty to the world.


Awakening the Ancestors
Sunday, February 23, 2020 | 4 pm – 5:30 pm 
Wesley United Methodist Church 2726 River Road, Johns Island SC 

 Join us for a free, live performance of the traditional music of the Gullah Geechee people of the South Carolina Lowcountry as we bring back our popular, “Awakening the Ancestors” program.  We’ll sing, learn the “Gullah clap” and make music together as we learn from our host Christal Heyward about the music of our local Gullah Geechee communities and churches. Presented in partnership by the Charleston County Public Library, the International African American Museum, the Progressive Club of Johns Island and the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission. Free and open to the public. All ages. 



Dance Matters: Coming to Monuments
Tuesday, February 25, 2020 | 6: 30  pm – 7:30 pm |
Main Library | Charleston County Public Library | 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston SC 

 Join us during Black History Month for a free evening with Charleston-based dance company, Dance Matters,who will perform contemporary dance pieces inspired by the  recent and ongoing controversies across the South related to Confederate monuments. The work is set to music by Charleston poet laureate Marcus Amaker and it presents educational vignettes from local history — from the Reconstruction Era through the integration battles of the Civil Rights Movement — weaving in audio recordings and other primary source, historical material. Panel discussion with civil rights icon Dr. Millicent Brown, poet laureate of Charleston Marcus Amaker and Thomasena Stokes-Marshall, first  African-American woman to serve on Mt. Pleasant Town Council.  Panel will be moderated by historian Damon Fordham. 


MARCH 2020

The Weeping Time Memorial

Saturday, March 7, 2020 | 9 am – Noon | Otis J. Brock Elementary School
1804 Stratford Street, Savannah, Georgia 

Join the  community of West Savannah for an outdoor, public memorial and commemoration of The Weeping Time. The Weeping Time refers to the largest single slave sale in U.S. history. In March 1859, over 400 Gullah Geechee men, women and children from plantations near Darien and St. Simon’s Island GA were auctioned off on a racecourse in Savannah over the course of three days — to satisfy the gambling debts of the plantation owner, Pierce Butler. It was a sale that shocked the conscience of the nation. 




 The Weeping Time | History Talk with Dr. Anne Bailey (Two dates)


Friday, March 27, 2020 | Coastal Discovery Museum | 3 pm
70 Honey Horn Drive, Hilton Head Island, SC
Reservations are required at this program.  Call 843-689-6767, ext. 225 to reserve a seat.


Saturday, March 28, 2020 | 3 pm
Johns Island Regional Library | 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 

Historian Anne Bailey discusses her recent work, “The WeepingTime: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History.”  Slave auctions were an everyday part of Antebellum American life, but this auction on the eve the Civil War, brings home the very human drama that was slavery. Dr. Bailey will share how histories and other narratives can  be a part of the reparative and reconciliation process of dealing with the trauma of slavery. 


MAY 2020


Tracing the African Diaspora: Colonoware Pottery Workshop
Saturday, May 9, 2020 | 2 pm
Johns Island Regional Library | 3531 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 

Join us for a hands-on workshop to explore the African diaspora and the colonial heritage of the African ancestors of the Gullah Geechee people through Colonoware pottery. “Colonoware” is a form, hand-built earthenware pottery made by enslaved Africans and Native Americans between the 17th and 19th centuries. In this workshop, participants will have a chance to examine examples of Colonoware pottery recovered from archaeological sites in the Charleston region and then they can try to replicate a special, West African pottery decorative method on clay.