Since 2012, the NEH has funded a workshop for K–12 teachers from across the country to study one of the oldest African-American communities, the Gullah (or Geechee) of the coastal islands near the Georgia-South Carolina border. The isolation afforded by their island homes has enabled the Gullah to preserve many elements of their West African heritage through music, dance, and oral traditions in the face of oppression. Gullah Voices—a partnership of the University of Connecticut, the Penn Cultural Center, and the Georgia Historical Society—immerses participants in the distinct cultural expressions of the descendants of slaves who worked on rice plantations dating back to the 17th century.
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