Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Gullah Culture

This year for Black History Month we are celebrating "The Gullah Culture". Gullah, Geechee, or Gullah Geechee descibe African Americans who live in the Low Country region of South Carolina and Georgia. The Gullah are known for preserving more of their African linguistic and cultural heritage than any other African American community in the United States.

Our activities for the celebration include an art display by Jonathan Green. Green's art reflects the everyday life of the Gullah people. As a child Jonathan lived with his grandparents in SC where he learned the dialect and cultural heritage of the Gullah culture. I purchased a Jonathan Green calendar and mounted the calendar pages for this display. This was the cheapest way to obtain this artwork.

We have purchased a CD of Gallah music. This will be played throughout the month including the day of our third activity, "The Shrimp and Grits Tasting". We will be serving a small taste of Shrimp and Grits (about a 1/2 cup) for 50 cent per person during all our lunches.

Our students love tastings and while they are visiting the library for this activity we will share more information about the rich Gullah culture and show them our display of books that have Gullah characters, are about the Gullah region, or are by a Gulla author.


  1. This is GREAT. I have a student in my school (we are close to Myrtle Beach, SC)who was raised in the Gullah area, and he carries a strong "accent" if you want to call it that. He is extremely self conscious about it, so speaks out VERY LITTLE. Recently his 8th grade social studies teacher was showing a video clip of Geechie's using the Gullah vernacular. This students was laughing hysterically at the jokes and innuendos that were occurring during the clip--and none of the rest of te class could follow b/c they did not and could not understand. The student felt like the smartest student in the class for the day as he tried to share what was so funny in the video.

    I learned that these students form this area who relocate to even other parts of SC have a very hard time acclimating to different areas of our state of SC. It truly is like speaking a foreign language.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I'll pass along the activity to our Black History Month committee. Gullah history/fact would make a great segment on our fact of the day program.

    In case you didn't know, has Gullah Net ( which includes: Gullah tales, history, music, and other resources. It is targeting younger grades, but I think high school kids would still find it fun and interesting.

  3. Thank you both for your comments! I am glad ya'll found our Gullah activity interesting--we try to expose our students to different cultures through activities such as this!