African-American Culture in Georgia
In recent times, the uniqueness of mellowed tones and the identification of its Creole blend have prompted an interest in the Gullah Geechee language and society. Left alone and isolated by little contact with the mainland, the slaves retained many words of African origin. The enactment and creation of a heritage corridor established a commission for setting up the Gullah Geechee corridor and defining how this coastal heritage may be protected and shared. The corridor encompasses the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
Several slaves and those of slave descent from St. Simons Island have unique stories. Recent biographies and institutes have honored several African Americans. Neptune Small’s story illustrates his faithfulness to the family that he served. When a Thomas Butler King son of Retreat Plantation was fatally wounded, it was Small who brought the body to Savannah from Virginia. Having done so, he returned yet again to battle during the Civil War to serve another King son. An oak planted near his former home signifies recognition of his deed. Descendants of Small still live on St. Simons Island.