© 2024 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CoastLine: NC Gullah Geechee Greenway / Blueway Heritage Trail picks up steam

Brayton Willis / Brunswick County NAACP
Historic Reaves Chapel A.M.E. Church in Navassa is one of the Cape Fear region’s most culturally and historically significant African American structures. It is one of the oldest African American buildings in southeastern North Carolina.";

Former First Lady Michelle Obama.  Comedian Chris Rock.  Basketball superstar Michael Jordan.  The Godfather of Soul James Brown.  These are just a few of the well-known Americans who are descendants of the Gullah Geechee people. 

Originally from West and Central Africa, slave traders brought the Gullah Geechee people to the southeastern United States – where they worked on rice, cotton, and indigo plantations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. 

In 2006, Congress designated a corridor stretching through these states – starting at Jacksonville, Florida and heading north roughly to Jacksonville, North Carolina.  The last 15 years has seen the development of the Corridor progress in fits and starts.   The North Carolina Gullah Geechee Greenway / Blueway Heritage Trail is one of the projects unfolding within that corridor.

Within that project, the Town of Navassa holds some of the richest history belonging to Gullah Geechee people. 


Barnes Sutton, Director of Planning and Development, Town of Navassa

Brayton Willis, Chairman, North Carolina Gullah Geechee Greenway/Blueway Heritage Trail for the Brunswick County chapter of the NAACP


For information on Reaves Chapel and its restoration through Coastal Land Trust, follow this link:  https://coastallandtrust.org/lands/reaves-chapel/

To get involved in the NC Gullah Geechee Greenway / Blueway Heritage Trail project, contact Carl Parker, President, Brunswick County chapter of the NAACP at Brunswick County NAACP P.O. Box 364 Supply, NC 28462 (910) 619-4974

For the North Carolina Gullah Geechee Greenway/Blueway Heritage Trail we can be reached at:

Mr. Carl Parker, President

NAACP - Brunswick County Branch #5452

P.O. Box 364, Supply, NC 28462

To learn more about the culture and history of the Gullah Geechee:

Mr. Ron Daise, Gullah descendant and storyteller, has offered https://youtu.be/cuWRaWGVNlM" target="_blank">this video as part of a TEDx presentation. 

Up Your Arts of Southport, https://www.upyourarts.org/  is sponsoring Historian Anita Singleton-Prather, who performs spoken word and musical folktales in her Gullah character, Aunt Pearlie Sue at the Southport Plein Air Festival scheduled for June 18-19, 2021. 

Related local links




To learn more about the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor:


For links to local community planning efforts:

The Town of Leland’s 2045 Plan for the future in is the process of development:


Brunswick County’s Comprehensive Land Use and Parks and Recreation Master Plan (Special note: This link includes information to the Blueprint Brunswick 2040 Youth Art Contest)


Link to the Corridor project partner East Coast Greenway Alliance:


Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 4 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.