Creating a Gullah Geechee historical society in Ga.


RICEBORO, Ga. (WTOC) – A resolution adopted by the Georgia House of Representatives could lead to some new opportunities for Georgia’s Gullah Geechee population.

House Resolution 625 calls on the state to establish a Gullah Geechee Heritage Society.

Geechee Kunda is a site of Gullah Geechee history in Riceboro that’s been closed since the start of the pandemic, but leaders with the organization say it’s one of the many sites across Georgia that would benefit from the formation of a Georgia Gullah Geechee Historical Society.

This site in Riceboro aims to preserve Gullah Geechee history in coastal Georgia. Sabrina Newby is the director of the site and says the house resolution could make a big difference.

“It will educate on the history. If you go to different parts of Georgia, people aren’t familiar with Gullah Geechee. They’ll say, ‘what’s that?’ And I’ll say that’s probably your heritage,” Newby said.

House Resolution 625 is a step forward in creating a Gullah Geechee Heritage Society. Representative Carl Gilliard, a co-sponsor, says creating an organization allows the state to tap into federal funds as part of the Gullah Heritage Corridor Commission.

“It gives us an opportunity to participate in as a part of that corridor, which means millions of dollars that could come to Georgia, Chatham County, Sapelo Island, Jekyll Island,” Rep. Gilliard said.

Funding is something Newby says is much needed to preserve Gullah Geechee history.

“That’s one of the hardships we’re having. One of the reasons why we’ve been able to make some of the renovations here at Geechee Kunda is because of the grants that we were able to gain in order to do the renovations, but those grants are far and few between,” Newby said.

Newby says this resolution offers hope for the future of Gullah culture.

While there’s no official reopening date for Geechee Kunda just yet, Newby says renovations are underway, and they’re looking forward to the year ahead.

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