Beaufort County, SC is uniquely Gullah/Geechee! The entire county consist primarily of Sea Islands unlike any other counties of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. It is no doubt due to this fact that Gullah/Geechee culture evolved and continues to thrive here from the soil and souls of the native Gullah/Geechees.
Interestingly enough, it was not been that long ago when people in the same county would not acknowledge Gullah/Geechee culture and schools-both missionary and public-literally issued corporal punishment to students that spoke the African language of Gullah. Now due to the international efforts and ambassadorship of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, the county is now a place that is celebrating Gullah/Geechee culture even in these spaces that attempted to beat it out of existence.
Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea will continue to be a place to which people can journey during Gullah/Geechee Nation Volunteer Month and not only take part in the “Coastal Cultures Conference 2015” which is themed “De Wata da We: Gullah/Geechee Sustainability,” but to also see the art work of Gullah/Geechees. This March at ArtWorks Donellia Chives will open “Ngome Collective Boutique” on Saturday, March 14, 2014 at Noon. This is also the same location where Gullah/Geechee artist Johnnie Simmons started February with a 35 piece pyrography exhibition which will close on March 7. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 2127 Boundary Street in the city of Beaufort, SC. Go to www.beaufortcountyarts.com or call 843-379-2787 for more details.
A short drive across two bridges from midtown Beaufort will bring visitors onto St. Helena Island which is a thriving hub of Gullah/Geechee culture. You can take in a wonderful traditional Gullah/Geechee meal at “MJ’s Soul Food” on Sea Island Parkway and conclude the day by purchasing some of Mr. Simmons’ and other artists’ works from the walls.