The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor (the Corridor or Corridor) was designated by an act of Congress on October 12, 2006 (Public Law 109-338). It was authorized as part of the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006. As a national heritage area, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is not part of the national park system; however, the act authorizes the secretary of the interior to provide technical and financial assistance for the development and implementation of the management plan. The Corridor roughly extends from Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, covering and 14 coastal counties in 4 states: NC, SC, GA and FL.
The Corridor was created to:
- Recognize the important contributions made to American culture and history African Americans known as Gullah Geechee who settled in the coastal counties of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida;
- Assist state and local governments and public and private entities in South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida in interpreting the story of the Gullah Geechee and preserving Gullah Geechee folklore, arts, crafts, and music.
- Assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with GullahGeechee for the benefit and education of the public.
The local coordinating entity legally responsible for management of the Corridor is the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (the Commission or Commission), a federal commission. The Commission is composed of 15 members appointed by the secretary of the interior. Ten members are nominated by the State Historic Preservation Officer and the other five are recognized experts in historic preservation, anthropology, and folklore and appointed by the secretary of the interior.
“The Gullah Geechee culture is the last vestige of fusion of African and European languages and traditions brought to these coastal areas. I cannot sit idly by and watch an entire culture disappear that represents my heritage and the heritage of those who look like me.”
Congressman James E. Clyburn
Author of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Act