Coastal Now – Gullah Geechee Cultural Conservation Project

Coastal Carolina University is in the
midst of a two-year project to help preserve a culture. We have the capacity
to be able to do this well. A $270,000 grant from the National
Archives is being used to digitize documents, photos, videos and audio
recordings from Gullah Geechee communities in South Carolina.
Gullah Geechee history is South Carolina history, is American history. Just as we
know Creole and Cajun we should know Gullah Geechee. This builds on years of
work Coastal has done to highlight the Gullah Geechee culture. As always,
students are playing major roles. Student involvement is really at the heart of
everything that we do, especially within this project. Students are designing the
main project website and conducting interviews in the field. Seeing reaction
on people’s faces and how they light up when they’re telling stories, it’s much
more personal than you could read out of a document. This is the first time that
I’ve really worked with a collective group to make something so impactful. The
project involves transcription of historical documents and increasing the
fidelity of hours of audio. It means a lot to help a culture preserve their
information. Being chosen to handle this important work says much about Coastal
and its students. They’ve seen something in us, probably like some, something
special that we have.

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