We should probably start this post by apologizing in advanced for getting that theme song stuck in your head — but let’s be honest, you know you secretly loved it! Just ask ‘90s kid who Binyah Binyah Polliwog is and they’ll be quick to tell you he’s “everybody’s favorite frog” — and that’s because so many of us grew up watching Gullah Gullah Island!
If you feel it’s been a million years since we all tuned in to Gullah Gullah Island, that’s because it has been; it’s been 19 years to be more exact! And you’ll be happy to know that Ron and Natalie — the stars of the show — are still happily married and teaching people about Gullah culture!
Those of us who grew up with the show may not have realized what a rich, historical show it was! The Gullah refers to people who are descendants of once-enslaved Africans who live in a certain region of Georgia and South Carolina, including Ron’s home of St. Helena Island, S.C. It was his heritage that inspired him to make a show about a “magical island” inspired by elements of his upbringing. While the show was originally met with backlash, Ron was the first admit that he was hesitant at first. He said, “We were apprehensive about naming it ‘Gullah Gullah Island.’ We wanted to make sure the portroyal was positive and didn’t in any way poke fun at the culture or the community.”
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Tonight and for the rest of this weekend I am blessed to do what I love. @gullahron and I are performing 2 sets of "A Gullah Family Christmas" each evening this week at #notc at @brookgreengardens. After a challenging couple of weeks, this is all joy! #christmas #gullahgullah #brookgreengardens #holidays
And now, even almost two decades after the show ended, he’s still sharing his family’s culture with the masses. In addition to being a singer, songwriter, and author, Ron also considers himself a “Gullah Culture Perservationist,” who teaches about the legacy of Gullah culture to audiences both near and far away.
And based on Ron and Natalie’s Instagram accounts, it’s clear that the show left an impact on countless children who grew up with Gullah Gullah’s Island (our staff included!). “This show was my childhood,” one loyal viewer commented on a screenshot from the Christmas-themed episode. Another added, “I loved that show growing up. Such a beautiful concept and family-oriented. One of the few good shows I watched growing up.”
We love seeing that Natalie and Ron are still doing so well. Now, if only we can track down Binyah Binyah.