10 Prominent African-Americans You Didn’t Know Have Roots in the Gullah Geechee Corridor

Author and screenwriter Julie Dash. Photo courtesy of IndieWire.com
Author and screenwriter Julie Dash. Photo courtesy of IndieWire.com

Julie Dash: Daughter of the Dust
Julie Dash, an African-American filmmaker and author, was born on October 22, 1952 in Queens, New York. She was raised by her father, who was a Gullah from the Sea Islands of Georgia. Dash admits she didn’t know much about her Gullah heritage as a child until she noticed her father’s unique accent. She also noted rituals performed by her nanny, who was Gullah as well. Well into her career, Dash wrote the screenplay “Daughters of the Dust,” which takes place on St. Helena Island and tells the story of three generations of Gullah women in the Peazant family in 1902. She followed up with a book titled “Daughters of the Dust: A Novel” in 1997. The sequel is set 20 years after the migration featured in the film.


This undated file photo shows Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown posing for a team photo. Photo courtesy of AP Photo/File

Jim Brown: Record-Setting Fullback for the Cleveland Browns

Jim Brown was one of  seven people inducted into the Gullah/Geechee Nation Hall of Fame. A native of St. Simon’s Island, Georgia, the football star grew up in the Geechee community. Brown fell in love with the game of football after moving to Manhasset, New York to live with his mother. He went on to play for the Cleveland Browns and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1979. After stepping away from football, Brown found a career in acting and appeared in over 30 movies.


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