If you live in an apartment in Beaufort, SC then everywhere you go you will encounter some type of Gullah culture, whether or not you recognize it.
Food, art, language and the landscape in general have all been impacted by the formerly enslaved Africans who built communities on the Sea Islands. The influence is so broad, the Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration can’t be contained in one weekend.
The event began last weekend with the opening of an exhibit at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and continues through the next four weekends.
This weekend, there’s a Sweetheart Ball on Friday night at the Westin Hilton Head Resort and on Saturday the Taste of Gullah food event at the Art Center of Coastal Carolina.
An arts, crafts and food expo is set for Feb. 14-15 at the Coastal Discovery Museum, and a celebration of African-American authors is planned for Feb. 21 at Audio Video in Bluffton.
Gospel singers will stage concerts Feb. 13 at the First Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Bluffton, Feb. 20 at St. James Baptist Church in Hilton Head and Feb. 27 at First African Baptist Church in Hilton Head.
The annual event, which began in 1996, is designed to highlight the African-American experience on the Sea Islands. While development of Hilton Head forced many of the Gullah residents off the island, there are still several African-American communities. The month-long celebration allows Gullah residents to highlight their culture while boosting local companies that benefit from cultural history tourism.