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  • Gullah/geechee Cultural Heritage Act Amendment

    by Representative James E. Clyburn

    Posted on 2016-02-24

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    CLYBURN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman for yielding me the time.

    Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3004, a bill that makes a technical change to the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act.

    Gullah/Geechee is a blend of African and European language, culture, and traditions found along the coast and sea islands of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, where former slaves began their freedom in isolated and remote communities and nurtured unique cultural traditions.

    The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act, signed into law in 2006, created the Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor to preserve and protect the remaining vestiges of this living culture, which has been threatened by development in these coastal communities.

    Called Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida, these enclaves of language and culture provide a significant link to African American heritage. As a former history teacher and historic preservation advocate, the establishment of the heritage corridor is one of my proudest achievements in Congress.

    This bill before us corrects a technical issue by extending the authorization of the Commission created by the original legislation to coincide with the heritage corridor, which runs to 2021. Without this change, the heritage corridor would continue to exist but would need to be managed by a new entity, eroding the progress the current Commission has made toward implementing its management plan. Enacting this legislation will ensure continuity in the management of the corridor so that its mission is carried out as efficiently and effectively as possible.

    I want to thank the chairman and ranking members of the Committee on Natural Resources and Subcommittee on Federal Lands for their support of this bill and for moving it swiftly to the House floor today for consideration.

    Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support its passage.

    Mr. McCLINTOCK. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from South Carolina (Mr. Rice).

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