Congressman James E. Clyburn

Proudly Serving the 6th District of South Carolina

Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor

On October 29, 2007, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor took a giant step forward in its effort to preserve the rich Sea Island culture and history.  The National Park Service officially announced the 15-member Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission in Charleston, South Carolina charged with overseeing the implementation of this federally-designated corridor that stretches from Jacksonville, Florida to Wilmington, North Carolina.

As the keynote speaker for the event and author of the legislation that created the corridor, Congressman Clyburn said, “The story of the Gullah/Geechee people and their contributions to this country began in 1619 when the first Africans arrived at the Jamestown settlement.  After more than seven years of work to establish this corridor, today marks the first day of the hard work this commission will undertake to preserve and share that nearly 400-year history that is the core purpose of this initiative.” 

Congressman Clyburn implored the commission not be deterred when their jobs are difficult.  “It is going to be tough.  You will be criticized, but don’t be afraid.  I believe if you show me someone who has never been criticized, I will show you someone who has never done anything.”

The mission of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission is to develop and implement a management plan for the Heritage Corridor. This Commission will terminate 10 years after the date of enactment of the Act and will consist of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior.

Following is a list of the newly appointed Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commissioners. 

Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission

Expert Commissioners & Alternates
There are five expert positions on the Commission nominated by the National Park Service—2 from SC, and one each from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. 

Florida
Commissioner (Expert) – Antoinette Jackson
Alternate Commissioner (Expert) – Anthony E. Dixon

Georgia
Commissioner (Expert) -- Jeanne Cyriaque
Alternate Commissioner (Expert) – Vacant

North Carolina
Commissioner (Expert) – Dr. John H. Haley
Alternate Commissioner (Expert) – Dr. David B. Frank

South Carolina
Commissioner (Expert) – Emory Campbell
Commissioner (Expert) -- Marquetta Goodwin
Alternate Commissioner (Expert) – Dr. J. Herman Blake
Alternate Commissioner (Expert) – Nichole Green

State Nominated Commissioners and Alternates
There are ten positions on the Commission nominated by the State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) –four from South Carolina and two each from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. 

Florida
Commissioner (SHPO) – Glenda Simmons Jenkins
Commissioner (SHPO) – Ralph B. Johnson
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) – William Jefferson

Georgia
Commissioner (SHPO) –Charles H. Hall
Commissioner (SHPO) –Althea Natalga Sumpter
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) – Amir Jamal Toure’
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) –Deborah L. Mack

North Carolina
Commissioner (SHPO) – Shirlean Spicer
Commissioner (SHPO) – Eulis Alexander Willis
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) – Lana Carter

South Carolina
Commissioner (SHPO) – Ronald Daise
Commissioner (SHPO) – Louise Miller Cohen
Commissioner (SHPO) – William Saunders
Commissioner (SHPO) – Willie B. Heyward
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) – Danny Cromer
Alternate Commissioner (SHPO) – Veronica D. Gerald

History
With passage of the National Heritage Areas Act of 2006 (Act), ten new national heritage areas were designated, bringing the national total to 37. One of these new areas was the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor (Heritage Corridor) which recognizes an area along the coasts of northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and southern North Carolina.

 

The Heritage Corridor was created to:

1. 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);

2. 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

3. Assist in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah/Geechee culture for the benefit and education of the public.

Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission
To develop and implement a management plan for the Heritage Corridor, Congress established the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission (Commission). This Commission will terminate 10 years after the date of enactment of the Act and will consist of 15 members appointed by the Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) as follows:

For more information about the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor or the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, please contact:

Michael Allen
Charles Pinckney National Historic Site
1214 Middle Street
Sullivans Island, SC 29482
843-881-5516 x-12
843-883-3123 x-36
Michael_allen@nps.gov

Chris Abbett
National Park Service
100 Alabama Street SW
1924 Building
Atlanta, GA 30303
404-562-3175 x-522
404-562-3282 (fax)
Chris_Abbett@nps.gov

 

Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Website