Minority Community Resilience and Cultural Heritage Preservation

A Case Study of Gullah Geechee Community

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The Gullah Geechee community of the south-eastern United States endures today as a minority group with a significant cultural heritage. However, little research has been conducted to explore this community’s resilience in the face of climate change and other environmental impacts. The database Web of Science was searched and 109 publications on the Gullah Geechee community were identified. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we analyzed the publications to identify patterns and primary research themes related to the Gullah Geechee community’s resilience. Findings revealed that Gullah Geechee‘s cultural heritage is vulnerable to climatic and societal changes, but can also be a source for enhancing community resilience and promoting more sustainable community-led heritage and tourism developments. A framework is proposed for building community resilience in the context of minority and/or marginalized communities (e.g., Gullah Geechee). This study highlights the urgent need to not only better understand and incorporate a community’s economic dimensions and losses in various decision- and policy-making processes but also their cultural and social dimensions and losses. This systematic analysis can help inform both heritage preservation and community-led tourism practices and policies related to the Gullah Geechee community, as well as help direct new research efforts focusing on minority and/or marginalized community resilience.