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The Gullah/Geechee culture, its people and language, originated, primarily, from the diverse cultures of West Africa. The Gullah language emerged on the Sea Islands as enslaved Africans, speaking many different languages and dialects, lived and worked together in remote locations, having limited contact with their enslavers who resided on the mainland. In their insulated island environment, the foodways, folkways, customs, traditions and religious beliefs of the various ethnic groups would lose their autonomy and merge over time, giving birth to a new language and a culture that retained much of its African identity. Senegal and Sierra Leone are considered major contributors to Gullah culture, due to the prized rice growing capabilities of the enslaved people who brought it to the so-called "New World." As Europeans traded goods and trafficked human cargo between the Americas and the Caribbean, Gullah/Geechee culture also influenced the language and customs of those regions. Gullah/Geechee is considered an indigenous culture because it was born on this continent and did not exist prior to the arrival of enslaved Africans. Although we no longer live or work under the conditions suffered by our African ancestors, we, Gullah/Geechee people carry the language and the culture inside of us wherever we go.

Our Why

Established in 2022 as an official 501(c)(3) charitable organization, GGCCT launched to engage and support a diverse coalition of regional and national stakeholders committed to sustaining Gullah/Geechee culture. In one year, GGCCT and its partners have established a pipeline to legal services, laid the groundwork for rural landowners to invest in sustainable land use, and stepped forward to advocate for the descendants of imperiled historic African American cemeteries.

In 2024 GGCCT will recruit Community Climate Captains as the first step in implementing its Resilience Resource Project. The project will provide financial aid before, during, and after a climate-related calamity as a rapid response to families experiencing a climate emergency. 

GGCCT will continue to prioritize initiatives that secure land, historical and cultural resources.