Photographs by Stephen Morton/zReportage via ZUMA Press
Sapelo Island, Georgia, has the largest community of folks who call themselves saltwater Geechees or Gullah people. They have inhabited this coastal southeast for more than 200 years, and now property owners are facing higher taxes threatening an already fragile community. These Creole-speaking descendants of slaves have fought developments that have turned islands into tourism destinations. Property owners who payed a few hundred dollars a year will now have to pay 2-3 thousand dollars, which is a 5-600% increase. It is a poor community with not a lot of work and paying these new bills will be tough. Locals are asking for better local services - there are no street lights no trash pick up, sewer services. The problem faced is how to preserve one of the most fragile cultures in the US. This tax issue may be the thing that sends them under. (zReportage.com)
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