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Fri Jun 14, 2019, 07:16 PM

O'Rourke: White Americans don't know full story of slavery

BEAUFORT, S.C. — Beto O’Rourke took a path somewhat less traveled on Friday, meeting with a small group representing a community of slave descendants in South Carolina as he strives to make connections with the black voters who will play a dominant role in next year’s Southern presidential primaries.

In the community room of a Baptist church in Beaufort, a picturesque historic enclave on the state’s southern coast, the Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas congressman met with leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, a culture of coastal slave descendants.

Known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida, the culture is based on farming and fishing and has its own Creole language, history, cooking and crafts, with its communities nestled primarily among a 35-mile cascade of barrier islands. Scholars say separation from the mainland allowed the Gullah to retain much of their African heritage, including a unique dialect and skills such as cast-net fishing and basket weaving.

Addressing questions from 20 Gullah/Geechee representatives on topics including health care, housing affordability and education, O’Rourke also addressed what he identified as his own struggle with not knowing enough about the history of slavery in the United States and its ongoing ramifications.

Read more: https://www.abqjournal.com/1328640/orourke-white-americans-dont-know-full-story-of-slavery.html

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