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descendants of slaves who live in the Lowcountry region of the US states of South Carolina and Georgia

The Gullah are an African American population who lived in the Lowcountry region of the U.S. states of Georgia and South Carolina, in both the coastal plain and the Sea Islands (including urban Savannah and Charleston). They developed a creole language, the Gullah language, and a culture rich in African influences that makes them distinctive among African Americans.


  • Gullah is a unique Creole language, richer in linguistic survivals than any in-land [U.S] black speech.
    • By scholar William S. Pollitzer, on the Gullah people and their African heritage, (contributor: Moltke-Hansen, David), [University of Georgia Press (2005), p. 125, ISBN 9780820327839 [1]
  • We are about to develop a better understanding of the Gullah people, considered by many experts to be African Americans in the truest sense of the term.
    • On the distinctiveness of the Gullah and the survival of their African heritage despite centuries of slavery. By Seikyo Times, Issues 390-413. Contributor: Nichiren Shosu of America, NSA Publications Department (1994), p. 95
  • Anyone interested in the Gullah must ask how they have managed to keep their special identity and so much more of their African cultural heritage than any other group of Black Americans. The answer is to be found in the warm, semitropical climate of coastal South Carolina and Georgia; in the system of rice agriculture adopted there in the 1700s; and in a disease environment imported unintentionally from Africa. These factors combined almost three hundred years ago to produce an atmosphere of geographical and social isolation among the Gullah which has lasted, to some extent, up until the present day.
    • Scholar Joseph A. Opala, on the origin of the Gullah. The Gullah: Rice, slavery and the Sierra Leone-American connection"Origin of the Gullah," [in] Yale, (PDF) p. 1 [2]
  • There is an enduring kinship between the Gullah people and the people of Sierra Leone. The modern Gullahs and Black Seminoles are especially interested in their African origins and proud of their African cultural heritage. Sierra Leoneans, on their part, have every reason to feel proud that a Black American community has been able to preserve so much Sierra Leonean cultural heritage, and that a portion of them waged the longest and fiercest struggle against slavery in United States history.
    • Scholar Joseph A. Opala, on the origin of the Gullah and their connection to the peoples of Sierra Leone. The Gullah: Rice, slavery and the Sierra Leone-American connection"Origin of the Gullah," [in] Yale, (PDF) p. 2 (conclusion) [3]

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