Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

ggc tree




Links for future dates will be posted in the week prior to the meetings.


New programming will be announced as soon as it is available.  In the  meantime, please enjoy these recordings of some of our 2020 programs. We also have created free guides to helping you experience Gullah Geechee heritage from home with books, podcasts, films and traditional music.



Freedom’s Eve: A Gullah Geechee Watch Night Celebration | December 31 | 12 Noon

We welcome you to attend this year’s hybrid Freedom’s Eve: A Gullah Geechee Watch Night & Emancipation Day Celebration, being hosted in both Charleston, SC and Wilmington, NC on December 31, 2022 at 12 noon.


This New Year’s Eve, join us for an annual daytime Watch Night and Emancipation Day Celebration to bring in the new year reflecting on the importance of Freedom’s Eve, as a community. On December 31, 1862, Gullah Geechee people gathered in sacred spaces and places of worship to await the new year that would signal the end of slavery by the Emancipation Proclamation going into effect on New Year’s Day!

Our Freedom’s Eve services will take place in both Charleston, South Carolina and Wilmington, North Carolina, in an effort to preserve this sacred tradition across the corridor. Both of these services can be attended in-person and online. Register for in-person attendance on Eventbrite or select to join online and receive your virtual viewing link!


View details for each service below:

The Freedom’s Eve Charleston Celebration will take place at Morris Brown AME Church, hosted by Dr. Jessica Berry, and features performances by the McIntosh County Shouters of Townsend, GA, Aunt Pearlie Sue and the Gullah Kinfolk of Beaufort, SC, Deninufay Dance Co. of Charleston, SC, Master Storyteller Lillian Grant-Baptiste of Savannah, GA, and more!

Join us in Charleston, SC |
Stay updated on this event here. 

The Freedom’s Eve Wilmington Celebration will be hosted by Dr. Eric Crawford, and features performances by The Magnolia Singers of Charleston, SC,  Storyteller Dontavius Williams of Edgemoor, SC, the NC Ring Shouters of Wilmington, SC, the African American Dance Ensemble of Durham, NC and more!

Join us in Wilmington, NC |
Stay updated on this event here.


The 2023 Johns Island Preservation Field School Applications Open | Summer 2023 | Online

This is a three-week educational program that will introduce participants to the related professional fields of historic preservation/ heritage. Students will be taught fundamental skills in archival research, architectural documentation (drawing, photography), and mapping. Participants will learn these skills while documenting late 19th- and early 20th-century religious and civic buildings and their role within the African-American community on Johns Island, SC.

Applications are due by February 15, 2023. Click the link below to participate as a student or participate as a community educator and culture keeper!

Field School Participant Application  

Community Educator Application 



Heritage Days @ PENN Center | November 10-12, 2022 | Beaufort, SC

Tracing the African Diaspora: Colonoware

Saturday, May 17, 2020 | 10 a.m.

Join us for a virtual, streamed talk to explore the African diaspora and the colonial heritage of the African ancestors of the Gullah Geechee people through Colonoware pottery. Archaeologists from the Clemson University/College of Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and Drayton Hall will introduce you to “Colonoware”: a formed, hand-built earthenware pottery made by enslaved Africans and Native Americans between the 17th and 19th centuries. “Colonoware” pottery served as daily cooking, storage, and serving vessels for most enslaved people living in colonial-period settlements and plantations in coastal South Carolina. Often these pieces are viewed as “plain”, but recently discovered fragments in the Charleston area demonstrate the uniqueness in the African decoration style created by using a braided palm leaf.


Gullah Geechee Children’s Storytime: “Who Dem Gullah … Asks Princess Anyika”
Saturday, June 20, 2020 | 10 a.m.

We kick-off our summer Gullah Geechee children’s storytime series with Kyndra Joi, author of “Who Dem Gullah.. Asks Princess Anyika: Tales of a Gullah Princess.” We’re pleased to partner with the Charleston County Public library to bring Gullah Geechee children stories about themselves — told in the Gullah Geechee language. Children’s literature is an important way to share culture and preserve language. We hope the series encourages many more Gullah Geechee community members to create children’s and Young Adult books about the culture. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Kyndra is affectionately known as “Gullah Girl” in the community and actively educates and creates awareness of the Gullah culture through her interactive workshops of language, dance, and song.


Gullah Geechee Storytime | Anita Singleton-Prather
August 1, 2020 | 10 am

Gather the kids and join us for another in our Gullah language storytime series. In August, we welcome Gullah Geechee storyteller Anita Singleton-Prather, who is known to schoolchildren across the Corridor as “Aunt Pearlie Sue.”‘ Based on her grandmother, Aunt Pearlie Sue’s character has entertained audiences with Gullah-flavored folktales and she will share with us the tale of “Three Lee’ Pigs.”


Virtual Tour: Lives of the Enslaved on Kingsley Plantation (Jacksonville, Florida)
August 8, 2020 | 2 pm

During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many people traveled South to Florida from the Carolinas and Georgia. Some, like Zephaniah Kingsley, sought to make their fortunes by obtaining land and establishing plantations. Many others were enslaved and forced to come to Florida to work on those plantations, their labor providing great wealth to the people who owned them. Some of the enslaved would later become free landowners or maroons, struggling to keep their footing in a dangerous time of shifting alliances and politics as control over “La Florida” was sought by the Native Americans, Spanish, British and Americans.  Join us as Ranger Ted Johnson of the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve (U.S. National Park Service) introduces to the history of Kingsley Plantation and shows us the well-preserved. tabby cabins of the enslaved that still stand and have important stories to tell.


Preserving Traditional Arts | Gullah Geechee and African Basketmaking
NEW DATE September 26, 2020 | 2 pm 
HOW TO WATCH |  A recording will be posted shortly.

Save-the-date to join us for a small-group conversation with a fifth-generation Gullah Geechee basketmaker. Sweetgrass basketry, one of the most well-known of Gullah Geechee craft traditions, is an extension of cultural continuity from West African rice cultivation and agriculture.  Sweetgrass artistry is prominent in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, where the creativity of the local artisan basketmakers, and the sweetgrass basketmaking tradition has been recognized nationally by the Smithsonian and other institutions for its intrinsic artistic value.  Roadside sweetgrass basket stands are the most visible aspect of Gullah Geechee culture displayed along U.S. Highway 17. A portion of the highway was designated as the Sweetgrass Basket Makers Highway in 2006, the same year the sweetgrass basket became South Carolina’s official state craft