Two day event
to fight
Gullah Geechee Oppression

I recently sat with a Durham Millennial, who aspires to politics, discussing city-wide, radical steps that could be taken to signal a strong break with the status quo. One of the possibilities raised was a Durham city resolution supporting reparations to descendants of slavery.

It would be a bold move, no doubt. America has yet to truly reconcile with slavery and our history of racism. As a nation to regain a sense of collectivity, we have to examine and air the worst of our deeds, and the full extent of them.

This is the rationale through which Truth and Reconciliation Commission Hearings attempted to heal South Africa and the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission attempted to reconstitute Rwanda after tribal genocide.

Bringing it back to America, this weekend at Mercury Studio you have a two day opportunity to become alert to and help fight the cultural genocide of the Gullah-Geechee people and their land.

gullah geechee

story by: Aaron Mandel

The Gullah (also called the Geechee) are African tribal descendants of slaves with a three century long cultural history on the North American continent and a far longer tradition that stretches across the ocean. They finally earned a modicum of Federal protection when in 2006 the United States Congress created the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor which extends from Wilmington, North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida. Efforts to preserve the unique Gullah language have been under way since the mid-20th century.

It is not hard to imagine resource sucking, golf course building developers pushing for eminent domain based confiscation of premium coastal lands.

The events at Mercury Studio Friday and Saturday evening are to call attention to the unprecedented corporate attacks on these historic lands. There is a Pop-Up shop Friday night. Saturday at 5pm there will be a screening of the film “Daughters Of The Dust” which tells the story of three generations of Gullah in the early 20th Century.

Later Saturday night, at 10pm, there will be a Dance Party hosted by Alex and Jazsalyn. There is a $5 cover charge with all proceeds donated to the Gullah Geechee Corridor.

Learn more about Gullah-Geechee culture here.

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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