Survival of the Gullah Geeche Culture



“Ef oona ent kno weh oona da gwuine, oona should kno weh oona kum from.” (Trans: If you don’t know where you are going, then you should know where you are from.) The Gullah Geechee of coastal South Carolina and Georgia believe that understanding the past is essential to planning for the future.  These people were purchased by white planters for their rice growing expertise.

They struggled to survive enslavement and Jim Crow segregation. They are also a unique example of Black cultural continuity expressed in their language, music, cultural beliefs, and material culture. This lecture by Timothy McLaughlin PhD continues into the present day, identifying current threats to cultural survival. McLaughlin served as Professor of History and Dean at Cazenovia College NY. His favorite course, Race, Rights, and Resistance, was a seminar on Black history from the fight to end slavery to the ongoing struggle for equality within contemporary American society. Dr. McLaughlin is Vice president of the NAHOF Cabinet of Freedom.

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