NewsThe Gullah-Geechee Community Fights To Protect Their Land From Gentrifiers

The Gullah-Geechee Community Fights To Protect Their Land From Gentrifiers

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Dionne Hoskins-Brown, Chair of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, speaks at Station Creek Landing in St Helena, South Carolina, on July 10, 2023. Isolated on islands scattered along the coast, ancestors of those in the Gullah Geechee community relied on the land and sea. They created their own culture, fed by their African heritage, and even developed their own Creole language. Hundreds of thousands of people are today part of the community — which is threatened by climate change, gentrification, and real estate developers circling like hawks. (Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

The historic Gullah-Geechee people have been one of the most successful Black communities at preserving the cultural connection to their homeland of Central and West Africa post-slavery. Although boasting a total population of approximately 1 million and their own dialect and distinctive foods, the Gullah-Geechee people have found themselves at the center of a battle for the land they’ve called home in South Carolina for centuries.

An investor is determined to overturn the law to build a golf course and a gated community, putting thousands of acres of land in jeopardy and opening the door for next-level gentrification. This fight would be the latest in a decadeslong battle for Gullah-Geechee land, much of which has been repurposed throughout several coastal islands in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

Community members have been holding public hearings to convince Beaufort County Council to reject the developer’s changes.

RELATED CONTENT: Harvard University is Teaching Students the Gullah Language

Source: Black Enterprise

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