Gullah Geechee Corridor and the East Coast Greenways

Hankerson-Henry Productions, LLC announces to Historic City News readers the release of the trailer for the documentary Gullah Geechee Corridor & the East Coast Greenways

Gullah Geechee Corridor & the East Coast Greenways documentary features the rich culture of African Americans in St. John’s County, Florida while highlighting three cycling trails known as Rails to Trails, the SEA Island Loop, and the East Coat Greenways.  The national release of the full-length film is scheduled for October 2018 during Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Month.  An exclusive showing will occur on August 17th where the community is invited to attend and includes a VIP Reception at 7:00 pm EST at the Treasure Coast Minority Business Expo, 2000 Havert Lane, Fenn Center, Fort Pierce, Florida.

The trailer is being made available to promote showings of the full-length documentary at film festivals, domestic and international theaters, as well as on mainstream and/or on-line streaming programming, PBS, and to include domestic and international county and public stations along the East Coast and to include the Caribbean.  The documentary promotes history and agri- and eco-tourism along the series of trails from Maine to the Florida Keys and connects to the history of the Caribbean.

An act of Congress in 2006 by Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina established the historic corridor.  This Florida Congressional District was formerly represented by John Mica and Ron DeSantis and currently by John Rutherford, a former officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff.  Congressman Ted Yoho has been a strong advocate for Florida’s rich history to include the story of the Gullah Geechee descendants.  Congressman Yoho spoke about these Floridians on the Congressional Floor in 2017.

The scenic cycling and hiking trails in the film run through the rural community of Armstrong, Florida that was settled by West Africans known as the Gullah Geechee going back before the Civil War. The region also connects to the history of the Loyalist after the Revolutionary War who descended upon southern Florida, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Puerto Rico as highlighted in Hankerson-Henry Production’s earlier 2012 film project on the Underground Railroad.  The Gullah Geechee Corridor & the East Coast Greenways features interviews, historic scenery and the West African people of the region who formed some of the first militias and forts to protect the Florida Territory and have kept alive traditions of basket-weaving, quilting, and the Ring Shout dancing.

Derek Boyd Hankerson M.A., whose family is native to Florida and whose paternal grandmother was Gullah Geechee, is the narrator in the documentary.  Hankerson also wrote, directed, and co-Produced the film along with Sheri Henry, a Wisconsin resident and Program Director and Faculty at Lake Superior College, which is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System.  Hankerson, Henry, and Tamara Leigh are available to attend premieres, showings, and Q & A sessions.