Monday night’s episode of “Ride with Norman Reedus” included stomping around in pluff mud for oysters, learning a little bit about Gullah history in Beaufort County and fighting off no-see-ums. Yes, it was quintessential Lowcountry.
Comedian Dave Chappelle joined Reedus, known for his role as Daryl Dixon on “The Walking Dead,” for the motorcycle trek from Charleston to Savannah that was filmed in February, when fans spotted the duo making a stop at Starbucks in Beaufort.
Reedus and Chappelle started their trip in Charleston, where they ventured into the marsh to pick some oysters and then returned to Bowen’s Island Restaurant for a meal.
The next day, the duo made it as far as Gullah Grub on St. Helena Island, where they talked to restaurant owner Sará Reynolds Green about the Gullah language.
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“If I heard you guys speaking with people you grew up with, could I understand you?” Chappelle asks.
“A few words, cause it’s all of the slaveholders’ languages — the English, the Portuguese, the Spanish, the French, mixed into all of the dialects of Africa,” Green said. “Because all of the tribes that came had their own dialects, so they needed to have common language so they could communicate with each other. So that became known as Gullah.”
To learn more, she directed them to the Penn Center, a school established in 1862 for freed slaves and now a hub of Gullah culture in the Lowcountry.
“This is where education started for black people in the entire South,” Victoria Smalls, who was Penn Center’s development director at the time, told them on their tour of the property.
“You can feel the history here,” Reedus said, “just feel it.”
Chappelle said his great-grandfather was in the South Carolina legislature during Reconstruction.
“Do you feel proud?” Smalls asked him.
“You know, yeah, it’s this weird thing where I felt connected to something very large,” Chappelle replied.
Smalls took the visitors by Darrah Hall, where Martin Luther King Jr. penned portions of his “I Have a Dream” speech and where the March on Washington was planned at a time when Jim Crow laws prevented black people from gathering. Darrah Hall is part of the newly created Reconstruction Era National Monument.
“Walking around where people persevered and succeeded over the worst kinds of injustice is humbling and inspiring, and it sticks with you long after you’ve moved on,” Reedus said in a voiceover.
During filming, fans spotted the duo making a stop at Starbucks in Beaufort on their way to Savannah. There, they visited the quirky Graveface Records and Curiosities, Coastal Empire Motorcycles and the Wormhole nightclub.
And all the while they waved their arms around their heads to fend off biting no-see-ums.
The episode — the second of Season 2 — aired Monday night on AMC and is available for streaming at amc.com.
In the season’s first episode, which aired Sunday, Reedus traveled along the Mediterranean coast of Spain with his “The Walking Dead” co-star Jeffrey Dean Morgan.
Each episode of the show features motorcycle enthusiast Reedus with a different riding companion touring a new destination, stopping at local bike shops and other sites along the way.
Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103