Presenter: Dr. Jessica R Berry (Professor at South Carolina State University)
Presenter: Dr. Najmah Thomas (University of South Carolina Beaufort)
Abstract The Gullah/Geechee Diaspora is a microcosm of the African Diaspora from which evolved the cultural traditions of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Although the forced migration of numerous African ethnic groups to the coast of the Carolinas was the foundation to the evolution of a unique cultural linguistic ethnic group on the Sea Islands from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL, the outward migrations of their people during the Great Migration and due to displacement from their homeland caused by a proliferation of gated areas along the coast as well as the inward migration of those that are descendants that never lived on the land, but are coming south due to the reverse of the Great Migration that is currently taking place will be discussed in this interactive roundtable. Numerous academics, screenwriters, and authors have written about Gullah/Geechees from their own cultural perspectives. However, disya roundtable gwine be fa dem fa yeddi frum de tru Gullah/Geechee.
This roundtable will allow participants to hear directly from the native Gullah/Geechees that have been holding on to their land, language, and other cultural traditions in the face of the onslaught of negative impacts to their cultural heritage caused by these various migration flows. They will also dialogue about the human rights movement that they continue to be engaged in to insure that the Gullah/Geechee, Seminole, Muscogo, Merikin transnational identities are not ignored in the legal issues that pertain to continuing their cultural heritage as new discussions concerning the potential of forced migrations due to climate change and sea level rise impacts are rising. Although many Gullah/Geechees have migrate away from and back to their coastal home, they continue to make it clear-