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    Spring Break with a Purpose: 2014
    The Angel Oak tree on John's Island.
    The Angel Oak tree on John's Island.

    March 10, 2014

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    RALEIGH, N.C. - Last year, chronicled Asa Watson's spring break trip to Los Angeles as he worked with youth in the infamous Skid Row area.  This year, we will follow senior wide receiver Bryan Underwood, as he travels to South Carolina with his Africana Studies class to learn about the history of the Gullah/Geechee culture.

    Bryan Underwood's Spring Break Blog:

    I signed up for this class because I'm an Africana Studies major and I really wanted to have this experience. We left Raleigh early Saturday morning to head to South Carolina.  There are 15 students on this trip, of all ethnic backgrounds.   

    This is an opportunity to have a hands-on experience and really see the history of African-Americans and learn more about the Gullah culture.  I wanted to see things I've never seen before.

    We went to Charleston first and had a bus tour of The Citadel and went to a few historic sites.  We saw the old slave market downtown, which was pretty eye opening.  Then we saw the McLeod Plantation on James Island and the Angel Oak on Johns Island.   It's an ancient tree that was where they had burials and hangings and now they have weddings.

    We spent Saturday night in a hostel in Charleston.  We were so tired all we wanted was a place to lay our heads.

    On Sunday we visited Boone Hall Plantation.  The plantation was so large - a few miles.  The driveway is called the Avenue of Oaks and it's almost a mile long.   The slave cabins line the driveway to the big house.   A lady who is known as the "Geechee Girl" and is the descendant of the slaves spoke to us at the end about the origin of the Gullah language.  Her great-grandfather didn't even know when he was born because he had been born a slave.

    Last night around 9:00 we finally got to the house where we're staying this week.  It's a big beach house on Fripp Island.  

    I think the most surprising thing I've realized so far is seeing how things are still there and look like they did hundreds of years ago.   It's one thing to sit in a classroom and study history, but it's another thing to go out and actually see where history was made.



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