Leaving Beaufort, we drove the short distance to St. Helena Island, one of the chain of sea islands that also includes Hilton Head, and the home of the Penn Center, an important site in the story of the transition from slavery to freedom. Founded in 1862 as a school for the black community, Penn Center became important in the Civil Rights movement. One of the few places in the south where bi-racial groups could gather, it became a kind of Camp David for Martin Luther King, Jr. as he planned the March on Washington and other key initiatives.
Descendants of slaves, the Gullah who inhabited this once-remote location speak an English-based creole language, and have a distinctive culture that can still be seen, heard and eaten. Here are shots of the Penn Center campus and a local eatery.
Then for a total change of pace, we drove to Savannah, which is a most genteel Southern city. We ended the afternoon with a carriage ride through the historic district, combined with a tour of the Telfair Museums – both modern and old. Catch the shot of Paula Deen’s restaurant – packed to the gills. The atmosphere here is quite special – gracious, relaxed, but with just a touch of the ominous lent by the Spanish moss hanging from the live oaks. More to see today.