Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Bill Passes U.S. House

Sep 28, 2004

(Washington, DC) - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 4683, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act, and sent the legislation to the Senate for final approval.  Congressman James E. Clyburn, the bill's sponsor, took to the floor prior to today's vote to urge passage of the legislation that will create a Gullah/Geechee National Heritage Corridor and one or more coastal heritage centers, establish a commission that will oversee these activities, and authorize $10 million to pursue these efforts.

"I believe wholeheartedly that this bill will help to lay the groundwork for keeping the culture alive and provide a means for the preservation, protection, and reinvigoration of Gullah/Geechee communities and cultural landscapes," Congressman Clyburn stated.  "In addition, the coastal heritage centers described in the bill will provide places where all Americans can learn of the many contributions Gullah/Geechee ancestors made to American Heritage."

In his floor statement, Congressman Clyburn thanked Chairman Richard Pombo (R-CA), Chairman George Radanovich (R-CA), Ranking Member Nick Rahall (D-WV), and Ranking Member Donna Christensen (D-VI) for their efforts to expedite the legislation's passage.  A subcommittee of the House Resources Committee held an initial hearing on the bill on September 13th. 

"Because of the overwhelming support of this legislation, I am optimistic it will become law before Congress recesses in October," Congressman Clyburn said.  "Time is of the essence in protecting this dynamic culture that grows more endangered as each day passes."


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