What is a cultural heritage corridor?
The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is one of many congressionally designated National Heritage Areas. National Heritage Areas are places where natural, cultural, historic, and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography. These patterns make National Heritage Areas representative of the American experience through the physical features that remain and the traditions that have evolved in them. These regions are acknowledged by Congress for their capacity to tell important stories about our nation. Continued use of National Heritage Areas by people whose traditions helped to shape the landscape enhances their significance.
Why was the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Created?
- To recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history by Africans and African Americans known as Gullah/Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of Florida (Duval and Nassau), Georgia (Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh), North Carolina (Brunswick and New Hanover) and South Carolina (Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and parts of Berkeley and Dorchester);
- To assist Federal, State and local governments, grassroots organizations and public and private entities in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina in interpreting the story of the Gullah/Geechee culture and preserving Gullah/Geechee folklore, arts, crafts and music; and
- To aide in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah/Geechee culture for the benefit and education of the public.
Learn more about the Corridor vision, mission and purpose.
What is the role of the National Park Service?
The National Park Service has the responsibility to provide technical, planning and limited financial assistance to National Heritage Areas. Rather than own or directly manage the land, the Park Service acts as a partner and advisor, leaving ultimate decision-making authority in the hands of local people and organizations. Residents are empowered to not only participate in, but also direct large-scale preservation projects.