The Charles Joyner Institute of Gullah and African Diaspora Studies recently opened at Coastal Carolina University.
School officials held an inauguration ceremony last week for the new center that is tucked away at the Conway campus.
CCU Dean of Humanities and Fine Arts Dan Ennis told South Carolina Radio Network that the Gullah culture traces its ancestry to people of West African cultures. “It’s where people from the African continent had moved to the Caribbean or to the United States and how that affected culture,” Ennis said. “In the larger sense, which includes not just slavery times, but other periods.”
The Gullah culture’s history goes back to the early 1700s, said Ennis and the people have had an impact on culture, including music and food.
Eventually students be able to major in Gullah and African diaspora studies at CCU Ennis said. The university already has a minor in the field. Students will get the chance to participate in the learning, going out into the community, interviewing people.