On January 15, the Hinesville Library held a ribbon cutting for the new Hinesville Gullah Geechee Art Exhibit in front of many community leaders from Liberty County. The exhibit includes art, books, and artifacts from the Gullah Geechee culture.
“This is history in the making and the people in this county need to know of the Gullah Geechee history,” Director of Library Services Beatrice Saba said. “It is such a blessing to be a part of this.”
The Hinesville Downton Development Authority, Hinesville Library, and Liberty County Minority Chamber partnered with Gullah Geechee historians to add the exhibit to the genealogy room at the library.
“I came up with the idea about eight months ago and presented it to Michelle Ricketson,” LCMC CEO Sabrina Newby said. “We immediately went to work on making it happen.”
According to gullahgeecheecorridor.org, the Gullah Geechee people are the descendants of Central and West Africans who were enslaved on the U.S. coastline from Pender County, North Carolina to St. John’s County, Florida. According to libertycounty.org, the Gullah Geechee culture has been present in Liberty County since the 1700’s. In Riceboro there is the Geechee Kunda Center on the grounds of a past rice and indigo plantation.
“The exhibit is fitting because the Gullah Geechee can be traced back to Hinesville in the 1700’s and 1800’s and not just on the eastern side of Liberty County,” Savannah State University Professor and Historian Dr. Jamal Toure said. “The exhibit is a great testimony and central for people to know who they are.”
The exhibit will be on display at the Hinesville Library through March 31, 2019 and is located in room 406.
“History is important and needs to be told including the good, bad and the ugly,” Newby said. “I look forward to having a permanent space here in the city and working with the Geechee Kunda.”