Gullah

The Gullah culture has a complex history and language with direct links to West Africa that survived slavery and continues to thrive on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia.

In the past, people have described the Gullah culture as quaint and the language as unintelligible. A closer look reveals a complex history and language with direct links to West Africa that survived slavery and thrived on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah experience has many variables that make it unique to each family and community. 

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Family Across the Sea, Part 4 | SCETV Specials
Family Across the Sea, Part 4 | SCETV Specials

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Family Across the Sea, Part 4 Like the Black Seminoles who fled white civilization, blacks began to return to Africa in the 19th century. Historian Alpha Bah has studied the return of blacks to Sierra...
Family Across the Sea, Part 3 | SCETV Specials
Family Across the Sea, Part 3 | SCETV Specials

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Family Across the Sea, Part 3 Anthropologist Joe Opala has studied the history of slavery from the African side of the ocean. He has tracked a remarkable series of connections that end in Charleston...
Family Across the Sea, Part 1 | SCETV Specials
Family Across the Sea, Part 1 | SCETV Specials

Video

Family Across the Sea, Part 1 This award-winning program explores the remarkable connections between the Gullah of the South Carolina/Georgia Sea Islands and the people of West Africa, particularly...
Family Across the Sea, Part 2 | SCETV Specials
Family Across the Sea, Part 2 | SCETV Specials

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Family Across the Sea, Part 2 A young black scholar named Lorenzo Turner began to research Gullah culture and language. Folklorists and historians who had studied this culture before Turner and...
Saving Sandy Island, Part 9 - The Future
Saving Sandy Island, Part 9 - The Future

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Part nine of nine the Carolina Stories: Saving Sandy Island. Saving Sandy Island is a documentary about the struggle to save an exceptional South Carolina island and its Gullah community from...
Ment Nelson, Artist | Original SC
Ment Nelson, Artist | Original SC

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Ment Nelson is all about purpose. His hope is that his first art collection will stir up curiosity and create an educational opportunity to bring awareness of the Gullah culture to a younger crowd.
Land - Spanish Moss | A Natural State
Land - Spanish Moss | A Natural State

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Native Americans called it "tree hair." French colonists changed it to "Barbe espagnole," or "Spanish Beard," to ridicule the Spanish conquest of the Americas. Spanish moss survives as its common name...
Land - St. Helena Island | A Natural State
Land - St. Helena Island | A Natural State

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The Gullah community of St. Helena struggles to promote the island's cultural and natural resources while preserving the environment for future generations. Livelihoods based on fishing, farming and...
Making Fishnets | Gullah Net
Making Fishnets | Gullah Net

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In the video, St. Helena resident Frank Brown weaves a net while singing a song rich in the Gullah dialect. This clip was extracted from Palmetto Places - St. Helena Island. After the Civil War and...
Land - Live Oak | A Natural State
Land - Live Oak | A Natural State

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Live oaks with broad, lumbering branches and beards of Spanish moss are a common sight in South Carolina’s coastal area. The tree’s resistance to wind and sea spray buffer the coast from seasonal...