Presentation Title

How the Sustainable Development Principles May Protect the Gullah Heritage Corridor

Presentation Type

Presentation

Full Name of Faculty Mentor

Pamela Martin, Political Science

Other Mentors

Gillian Richards-Greaves, Anthropology and Geography

Major

History

Presentation Abstract

The Waccamaw neck and the Sea Islands of South Carolina were historically productive agricultural lands where slave-based plantation agriculture was utilized for rice and indigo cultivation from the Sixteenth century onward. The communities of enslaved peoples in the South Carolina low country were primarily brought from the rice cultivating regions of west Africa, primarily Angola, Senegal, the Gambia and Sierra Leone. Following abolition, community and cultural ties were formed to these lands that their ancestors were once enslaved upon starting in the 16th century. This community stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina all the way to Jacksonville Florida is known as the Gullah, or Geechee. Like all cultures found around the world, Gullah culture is incredibly rich and complex. Family ties, local food and basket weaving are just a few of the important facets of Gullah culture. Arguably the most important tenant of Gullah culture and identity is the land, but maintaining these sacred lands has become an increasingly tedious struggle for Gullah leaders in recent decades. Starting in the late 1930's, the Sea Islands in Southern and Eastern South Carolina faced a storm of land development for the purpose of attracting white tourists and wealthy retirees. Encroachment by land developers is not the only threat to Gullah landscapes. The low lying lands and sea islands that Gullah people call home are incredibly susceptible to our changing climate and rising oceans. Hurricanes over the years have been particularly destructive. The impact of these social and environmental changes mean Gullah people now are finding it harder to maintain their community ties and cultural identity. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, applied at a local level, may go a long way in helping preserve the cultural heritage of the Gullah peoples of South Carolina.

Location

Room 1 (BRTH 101)

Start Date

12-4-2022 4:10 PM

End Date

12-4-2022 4:30 PM

Disciplines

Political Science | Sustainability

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Apr 12th, 4:10 PM Apr 12th, 4:30 PM

How the Sustainable Development Principles May Protect the Gullah Heritage Corridor

Room 1 (BRTH 101)

The Waccamaw neck and the Sea Islands of South Carolina were historically productive agricultural lands where slave-based plantation agriculture was utilized for rice and indigo cultivation from the Sixteenth century onward. The communities of enslaved peoples in the South Carolina low country were primarily brought from the rice cultivating regions of west Africa, primarily Angola, Senegal, the Gambia and Sierra Leone. Following abolition, community and cultural ties were formed to these lands that their ancestors were once enslaved upon starting in the 16th century. This community stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina all the way to Jacksonville Florida is known as the Gullah, or Geechee. Like all cultures found around the world, Gullah culture is incredibly rich and complex. Family ties, local food and basket weaving are just a few of the important facets of Gullah culture. Arguably the most important tenant of Gullah culture and identity is the land, but maintaining these sacred lands has become an increasingly tedious struggle for Gullah leaders in recent decades. Starting in the late 1930's, the Sea Islands in Southern and Eastern South Carolina faced a storm of land development for the purpose of attracting white tourists and wealthy retirees. Encroachment by land developers is not the only threat to Gullah landscapes. The low lying lands and sea islands that Gullah people call home are incredibly susceptible to our changing climate and rising oceans. Hurricanes over the years have been particularly destructive. The impact of these social and environmental changes mean Gullah people now are finding it harder to maintain their community ties and cultural identity. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, applied at a local level, may go a long way in helping preserve the cultural heritage of the Gullah peoples of South Carolina.