Poplar Grove Plantation working to preserve Pender County’s Gullah Geechee heritage


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The National Park Service recently added Poplar Grove Plantation to its Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.

The Corridor extends inland about 30 miles from Pender County all the way south to St. Johns County, FL.

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“A lot of folks are familiar with Charleston, SC, and Savannah, GA. They really embrace, promote and educate folks about the culture but we’re actually apart of it and we want to follow suit and honor those enslaved folks who were here,” Poplar Grove Plantation Director Felecia Greene said.

Poplar Grove will host a special public meeting Saturday, Aug. 17, with various experts sharing information about the Gullah Geechee heritage.

“We hope this will open dialogue for our locals, some descendants are still in the area so, hopefully, we’ll be able to pull some people in to share the information that we have been able to gather on the enslaved people who were on-site at Poplar Grove,” Greene said.

Information shared by the public at the meeting could possibly be incorporated into future a Gullah Geechee exhibit at the Poplar Grove.

“It is easier to share the narrative of the enslavers, we have a lot of information on those property owners, plantation owners, but its harder to find information on the enslaved,” Greene said. “We want to be able to balance out that narrative, we’re getting closer, but we do need help from the public.”

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission Executive Director Heather Hodges will also be speaking┬áduring the meeting. Poplar Grove Foundation Inc.’s Executive Director, Caroline Lewis, will discuss upcoming Gullah Geechee interpretive exhibits and on-going research.

Other speakers will present updates on a documentary about Rosenwald Schools of Pender County, the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust’s restoration of the Reeves Chapel AME in Navassa, and the town of Leland’s plans for the 2020 Rice Festival.

The meeting will be from 9 a.m. – noon at Poplar Grove Plantation located at 10200 US Highway 17, Wilmington, NC.