For more information pertaining to St. Helena Island and the Gullah Culture please visit these related topics:
Founded in 1862, by Laura M. Towne and Ellen Murray, the Penn Center National Landmark District was one of the first academic schools in the south established to provide an education for freedmen. In the 1960’s Penn Center was an important institution for the Civil Rights Movement by hosting guests as varied as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Peace Corps.
After 150 years Penn Center has grown into a monument promoting historic preservation and economic sustainability throughout the Sea Islands.
Penn Center is located at 16 Penn Center Cir W, St. Helena Island, S.C. 29920 and is open from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor
Managed by a federal commission partnered with the National Park Service and the state historic preservation offices of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, the Gullah / Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor is a national heritage area.
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor was created to give recognition to the important contributions made to the American culture and history of the African-Americans (Gullah / Geechee) who settled in the coastal countries of South Carolina, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The Corridor was also established to assist state and local governments as well as public and private entities in the four surrounding states to interpret the story of the Gullah / Geechee and preservation of folklore, arts and crafts, and music. The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor also assists in identifying and preserving sites, historical data, artifacts, and objects associated with the Gullah / Geechee to benefit and educate the public.
The federal commission of the Cultural Heritage Corridor is legally responsible for the management of the Gullah Geechee Corridor. Composed of 15 members, State Historic Preservation Officers,anthropologists, and folklore experts all work for the Corridor.
The Gullah / Geechee culture is the last vestige of fusion of African and European languages and traditions brought to these coastal areas. I cannot sit idly by and watch an entire culture disappear that represents my heritage and the heritage of those who look like me.”
Congressman James E. Clyburn, Author of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Act