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Gullah Geechee Corridor Plan Gets Federal Blessing

Seashore farmer's lodge

Preservationists are welcoming federal approval of a management plan to preserve areas steeped in Gullah Geechee culture.  The U.S. Department of the Interior says the effort to promote cities and towns in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida is ready to be put into action.

"The history and the legacy of people of African descent that were brought here as part of the African slave trade over three centuries ago," says Michael Allen, a spokesman for the National Park Service.

He says the effort to highlight these areas began in 2006.  The histories and spoken dialects had not gotten much attention in recent years.  But one notable reason for a resurgence in interest resides today in the White House.

"Our first lady Michelle Obama whose cultural lineage through her father's side, Jim Robinson, was on a plantation outside of Georgetown, South Carolina by the name of Friendfield," says Allen.

The Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor will be the only one of 49 national heritage areas devoted solely to African history and culture.

Gurnal Scott joined North Carolina Public Radio in March 2012 after several stops in radio and television. After graduating from the College of Charleston in his South Carolina hometown, he began his career in radio there. He started as a sports reporter at News/Talk Radio WTMA and won five Sportscaster of the Year awards. In 1997, Gurnal moved on to television as general assignment reporter and weekend anchor for WCSC-TV in Charleston. He anchored the market's top-rated weekend newscasts until leaving Charleston for Memphis, TN in 2002. Gurnal worked at WPTY-TV for two years before returning to his roots in radio. He joined the staff of Memphis' NewsRadio 600 WREC in 2004 eventually rising to News Director. In 2006, Raleigh news radio station WPTF came calling and he became the station's chief correspondent. Gurnal’s reporting has been honored by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, the North Carolina Associated Press, and the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.
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