Gullah-Geechee Conference on Saturday

Gullah (gul), or Geechee as the language is known to insiders, is spoken by about 250,000 people on the East Coast of the US from the Carolinas to Florida. The language is a creole, based primarily on English with contributions from Akan, Bambara, Ewe, Fula, Hausa, Igbo, Kimbundu, Kongo, Mandinka, Mende, Umbundu, Vai, Wolof and Yoruba (all of which appear to have large speaking populations).

Cape Fear Community College is hosting a conference on Saturday, April 2, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Wilmington, North Carolina, US. The topic of the conference is the future of the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor.

The Gullah people are an African-American population with a unique culture within the United States. Many Americans are familiar with the Brer Rabbit (Brer = Brother) stories about a trickster rabbit, an oral tradition of the Gullahs.

The Gullah people are working to maintain their culture, including their language. In 2005, a New Testament was completed in Gullah after 20 years of work.

YouTube has a video by Richard Green on Ultimate Gullah, a store and cultural center in South Carolina. Gullah/Geechee Nation is one of the pages on Facebook focused on Gullah culture.

A glossary of some Gullah words can be found at “A Glossary of Gullah Wordstaken from The Black Border by Ambrose E. Gonzales” and the full text of the book at “The black border; Gullah stories of the Carolina coast.” Gullah songs can be found at Gullah. The movie “Conrack” about a white schoolteacher who gets a job on an island teaching African-American children is a true story that took place in a Gullah community. Many other books and movies are also available.

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