The National Park Service has designated lands from North Carolina to Florida to be preserved in commemoration of the Gullah/Geechee people who are descendants of enslaved Africans from various ethnic groups of west and central Africa South Carolina Now reports:

There’s an effort underway to protect one of America’s most unique cultures. It’s a community with roots in the Sea Islands of South Carolina. The Gullah culture is very well known in the low-country. It is an African-American community with a unique language and history.

After the Civil War, freed slaves in South Carolina purchased land and grew rice, okra and other crops. For decades the Gullahs lived in isolated communities which allowed them to protect their way of life. But as time passed, development transformed life on the Sea Islands. One concern is land ownership; land is an important asset to the Gullah community. Rosalyn Browne works with members of the Penn Center to help preserve the rich African ancestry, it’s one Browne says, wasn’t always celebrated.

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