A culture, not a colour

On the barrier islands in the southeast United States, a new culture sprang up, born out of the suffering of the slave trade. Its people practiced a blend of African traditions and spoke their own creole language.

And there, isolated on the coast, they resisted the pressure to assimilate into mainstream culture.

This is the Gullah Geechee Nation, and they remain on these lands to this day.

But now bridges have been built, and hotels are rising on these idyllic barrier islands. Taxes are higher now, and so is the cost of living. Can the Gullah Geechee fight off the “cultural genocide” that threatens them?

This article, first printed in the August 2015 edition of Al Jazeera Magazine, documents the threats facing the Gullah Geechee Nation, at a time when its people were mourning a new tragedy.

The Emanuel AME church massacre in Charleston, S.C., took place in the heart of Gullah Geechee land, robbing the nation of some of its kin and allies.

You can find the online version of the article here.

 

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