Help Clean Up Zion Cemetery

October 21, 2016 by



Gullah/Geechee Seafood Fest & Famlee Day is a Celebration of Restoration and Recovery

October 20, 2016 by


The Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, the St. Helena Community Market, All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition invite you to a celebration to give thanks for the blessings GOD provided to St. Helena Island during and after the recent storms and over the many generations.   Due to the damage to the Hunting Island State Park, the venue has been changed.  The “Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival and Famlee Day” will be held at the Dr. Martin Luther King Park on historic St. Helena Island, SC on Saturday, October 22, 2016 from Noon to 6 pm. Disya event FREE and e gwine have music, cultural presentations, food and fun fa allawe!

Vital information regarding recovery resources will be provided for FREE as well. There will also be sign up lists for volunteers that will assist elders with their yards and minor home repairs to move our restoration process along.  Volunteers are also needed for food distributions and meals that are going on throughout the county.   Please come out to become a volunteer or make a donation toward the recovery effort.

There will be a craft and vendor market to help the economic sustainability of our community.  Items and meals will be for sale.   

Come welcome those that are coming from other states to come and begin working in the community and to distribute items that they have collected to support families in need in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.   Cum fa jayn we and show dem chillun southern hospitality!

E gwine be a time fa bring de family bak toggedda!

Purchase advance tickets or make a donation here:

Fa yeddi mo, gwine ta Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio:

Santa Elena Event and Program Announcements

October 18, 2016 by

Santa-Elena-History-CenterEvent and Program Announcements from the Santa Elena History Center October 19 -October 29

Join us for a variety of special programs and presentations 

in the Lecture Room of the Santa Elena History Center. Meet characters from our past, dive into the layers of the Santa Elena story, learn about the scientific aspect of archaeology, meet special guests in Beaufort, and much more!  Click here to register online and reserve your seat!

Lafayette and the Rights of Man

While most South Carolinians know who Lafayette was, the details of his life and his contributions to the cause of American liberty, both military and political, and his 1824-1825 tour of our country, including South Carolina, are not well known. This presentation will not only touch on the above information but will also focus on Lafayette’s life and his connections to South Carolina as well as his lifelong dedication to protecting the rights of all individuals.

October 19, 2016 @ 4:00 pm –5:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: 10.00

Instructor: William S. Davies, Jr.

Basic Navigation and Tools of 16th Century Explorers 

Today we move about with the aid of satellite-based navigation tools and Internet maps. Researchers are even confident that we will have self-driving vehicles in just a few years. This course allows you to learn the art of navigation and to discover the methods sailors used 500 years ago. Learn from master navigators Howard Heckrotte and Doug Nelson to plot a course using a sextant, quadrant, compass, and chronometer. Learn how these 16th Century tools advanced European discovery and exploration of the New World.

October 27, 2016 @ 4:00 pm –5:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Douglas F Nelson and Howard Heckrotte

Eliza Lucas Pinckney: Colonial Plantation Manager and Mother of American Patriots, 1722-1793

In 1739, Eliza Lucas Pinckney came to South Carolina with her family and began to experiment with indigo on her father’s plantation on Wapoo Creek. She succeeded in growing indigo and producing a rich, blue dye from the leaves, thus bringing a profitable new cash crop to Carolina planters. While her accomplishments were rare for a young lady of the 18th century, they were not outside the scope of what was expected of a woman at that time. This biography, drawn from her surviving letters and other sources, chronicles Eliza Pinckney’s life and explores the 18th century world she inhabited. Signed copies of Eliza Lucas Pinckney: Colonial Plantation Manager and Mother of American Patriots, 1722–1793 will be offered for sale after the program.

October 28, 2016 @ 4:00 pm –5:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Peggy Pickett

Jeepers Creepers- Spooky Stories of the Lowcountry

Join us on an afternoon of spooky tales and creepy legends of the Lowcountry – approximately one hour of Halloween fun appropriate for all ages. Included are cemetery ghosts, family members returning from the dead, see what happens when a woodcutter gets lost in the forest, how to keep the goblins and ghost out of your house, strange lights and screams and more! Chills and thrills will run up and down your spine as Cora weaves the magic of Halloween sharing stories that you will take with you into the night, tales of strange and scary things. Come and let the shivery, shaky feeling creep into your life as you hold your breath and wait to see how the story ends.

October 29, 2016 @ 2:30 pm –3:30 pm

Santa Elena History Center 1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902

Cost: $10.00

Instructor: Cora Newcomb

To see a full calendar of events and programs happening each week click here, and check with us often as programs continue to be added.


There are a variety of exciting group programs available to enhance your visit to Beaufort and the History Center. These programs are designed to bring history to life in a way that is entertaining and engaging for all ages. For more information about group programs click here.

School programs at the Santa Elena History Center are a great way to extend learning outside the classroom and ensure that students learn the history of the area in which they live. Many programs are also a great introduction into the field of archaeology. For more information about school programs click here.


The Santa Elena History Center is available for reservation after hours (4:00-8:00 pm). Attendees will have full access to the exhibits. Tables, chairs, and trash cans available.

Inaugural Exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story”

now open to the public in the beautiful, historic former courtroom

Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 4pm  

Sunday 1pm – 4pm

Admission is $10/adult, $5/child (age 5-12), and free for children under 5, active duty and first responders.

SANTA ELENA HISTORY CENTER        1501 BAY STREET, BEAUFORT, SC 29902         843-379-1550         WWW.SANTA-ELENA.ORG


October 17, 2016 by

Heritage Library May 2016

  Open for Business!


Your Heritage Library will be open starting Monday, the 17th, and will be open on Hilton Head Island

  • Mondays
  • Tuesdays
  • Thursdays
  • Fridays

and in Beaufort at the Santa Elena Center

  • Tuesdays
  • Wednesdays
  • Fridays

Both locations will be open from 10:00am to 3:00 pm.


Our programs, classes, Ft. Mitchel tours, and Thursday afternoon bike tours will resume this week. Zion tours are suspended because of the damage brought by Hurricane Mathew.  Unfortunately, our Ghosts and Myths program is cancelled for this Halloween, and any reservations will be refunded.


Since we did not hold our first session of Starting Family Research last Wednesday, we will have both sessions this Wednesday, the 19th from 1:00 to 4:00.  If you are already signed up for this class, you will not need to register again.  If you haven’t signed up, now is your chance!


Here are the classes and programs for the rest of October:

History Programs

October 18 – Cemeteries of Hilton Head Island: Learn about the history and location of the 16 cemeteries on Hilton Head Island.

October 25 – Pirates of the Lowcountry: What were pirates doing the in the waters of the Lowcountry before the Revolutionary War?  Who were they?

Fee: $10 per person



Starting Family Research; A Two-Session Class for Beginners

Wednesday, October 19; 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Fee: $25 for Foundation members; $35 for non-members.


Family Tree Maker is Back! So Get With the Program! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fee:  $10 for Foundation members; $15 for non-members

Reserve your space online at, or call the library

at 843-686-6560.



Living Through #HurricaneMatthew in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

October 13, 2016 by

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (

Hurricane Matthew is now etched in my mind with Hurricane David, Hurricane Floyd, Hurricane Sandy, and Tropical Storm Hermine.  I thankfully lived through each of these storms while my family and I stayed sheltered on our beloved hollowed ground on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  Matthew left an indelible mark in my mind because it seemed like they were broadcasting its arrival for weeks which were only days, but the marathon watching of the repetition and the predictions of utter earthly destruction on the Weather Channel is what made it seem so long and like a tedious journey before the winds and rains ever arrived.

It also left an indelible mark in my mind because I felt like I was in a glass box hollering and people couldn’t hear my voice.  I kept hearing of people that were going to evacuate and I wondered if they were paying attention to the projected path of the storm and the width of it.  If they did, they couldn’t out run this in any of our four states, they truly needed to get on I-10 West and head out toward the Gulf and pray nothing decided to come up that coastline during their journey.

I couldn’t believe that people had forgotten that it was the EXACT same time last year when South Carolina was on the national news due to flooding that had NOTHING to do with a hurricane.  That water came from inland to the coast when rivers crested and dams and levies broke.   Couldn’t they hear me and so many others telling them these things would come due to the climate change dynamics?  Did they realize sea level rise wasn’t just in the ocean which means the water wouldn’t always come over the land east to west?  Then the Spirit said, “Folks don’t follow directions.  The masses are reactionaries.”

As the coverage continued and we prayed unceasingly for the islands of our kins people-Haiti, the Bahamas, and Cuba, we also prayed for all in this pathway of what was going to take every thing from the pages and the Powerpoint presentations of scientific reports and predictions about sea level rise and storm surge and place it on the center stage of real life after having rehearsed as theories.  I wondered if the people that I worked with in so many meetings to discuss resilience and adaptation would now be paying attention to the cultural heritage aspects of all of this.  I also wondered if equity entered their minds.  SMH I continued praying while staying.

As my family and I dug out ditches and packed up critical items in waterproof containers, insured that we had our emergency kits and food and cookers in place and suitcases packed, I kept praying.  Each time I went to social media, I kept analyzing how few people were sharing the videos and blogs about how to prepare for this.  I saw that I could get more likes when I dress up in a fancy dress than when I actually took the time to share FREE information that could be critical during or after a storm.   I wished I could get on the Weather Channel for five minutes to share information with my people so that they would be prepared physically, because only GOD could speak to those that were not prepared spiritually.   I couldn’t stay in the midst of the wish because there was more to do lifting files from floors in the archive and insuring that as much as possible was covered up in the event that a ceiling blew off.   In the midst of all of this, others that did not live on the coast were calling with regular conversations about paperwork and some even just wanted to chat about what we were going to do.  I considered it just a conversation because no matter what else is going on in our lives, they don’t assist or support it.  So, right now, they were hindering the progress that we needed to make to live once this storm passes over.   SMH I continued praying while working and staying.

We watched as the eye of Matthew sought to become a set and get more vision by getting side by side with Hurricane Nicole.  I heard the weatherman tell us to ignore her as if we would after he pointed her out!  I decided to share information about what would happen if the two combined and as intriguing as this was to my scientific sensibilities, I prayed against witnessing the Fujiwhara Effect in real life.

I also prayed against seeing Haiti suffer again.  I prayed against Cuba and the Bahamas having their buildings torn down and lives lost as they kept raising the category on this storm.  I prayed that folks were praying with me for us to shift this storm further east before it got to the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  I wanted the storm to go blind and have no eye by the time it got here.  As I posted to the prayer warriors worldwide, we prayed together and we stayed together and weathered the storm and fought back with power filled spiritual energy and then the eye started to be less defined and the storm moved a few miles further east keeping the eye off the land.  I said, “Praise GAWD fa disya!  Keep praying righteous people!”

The days came and went with the same reports of this slow moving storm making its way our way and it got to the point that we were rushing him to get on out east completely or come on past and go about your business!  Yet, he resisted and we resisted letting him dampen our spirits.  We knew he would dampen the ground, but not our souls.

The dampening that he did do was one that unimaginable!  When the rains and winds arrived, we watched the sun go down as they moved around.   We went to bed to sleep when the lights were suddenly knocked out after a very loud sound that sounded like a transformer exploding.  Occasionally, the howling winds woke me, but the peace in my soul allowed me to go back and sleep.  It wasn’t until my mother started walking around that I was awakened and I thought it was near dawn, but once I got up with her it seemed like hours and hours we sat waiting for the sun to rise.   I decided to go back to sleep since sunrise seemed to be moving as slow as the storm.   I awoke to sitting in the midst of what looked like a rice field in the front and a creek or lake front to our right.  Trees that used to shade us were now laying down to the left.  Praise GOD, we were still standing and dry and safe!

Now, I wondered what was on the other side of the rest of our buildings on the family compound and what was down the roads.  The howling winds that we heard for hours in the darkness as the rain swirled and swirled around the building and we heard things rolling around made it sound like everything was blowing away.  So, I couldn’t wait for the wind to cease to get out and about in the light of day.

Well, when the wind ceased a bit, I got out a few feet and then couldn’t go any further unless I wanted to get blown away or be one to drown in the standing water.  The car was surrounded and I had no intention of attempting to wade to it.  I prayed that the starter was dry.  I gave thanks that besides that fact that it looked like I had driven it overboard, it was kept out of harms way.  I gave thanks that we had been kept out of harms way and I continued to pray.

I posted on Facebook and Instagram so that folks knew we had made it through and gave them a short video so that they too could see from my point of view.  I prayed that they would remember this moment and stay rallied together without a storm from here on.  Otherwise, why live on?  Why still be here to work to try to help more people in the world if they don’t seem to care what information you provide or what you share?  Why be here together if we choose not to help one another?  I wasn’t praying this time.  I was just waiting to hear GOD speak as GOD spoke to me ahead of the storm to tell me to get to the island and to stay.   I waited to hear the answers, but GOD was holding this conversation for another day.

I spiritually listened as I proceeded with doing the things that I could do such as documenting this historic journey living through Matthew.  I thought about getting to COP22 next month with others of the world to tell my story and how I can couple this with all the reports from my scientific and environmental community.  I prayed that as folks joined with me in prayer through the storm, that they would now stick with and support me and my Gullah/Geechee family.   Yes, the ones that I knew were also still alive on this island because in the distance I could feel their energy.  Tenk GAWD fa keepin we!  Tenk GAWD fa anointed we!  WEBE Gullah/Geechee!  Ta GAWD be de gloree!  Now, I prayed that those that left would make it back safely.


Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( stands proudly at her family compound giving thanks as the waters of Hurricane Matthew slowly recede from the land. Tenk GAWD fa de blessed Gullah/Geechee land!

Please support the fundraising effort to get Queen Quet to the United Nation’s COP22 Conference:

Also, you can support the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s Storm Rebuilding and Preparation efforts by donating here or bringing a group to the coast to assist:

Support the “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy World Tour” by bringing Queen Quet to your city or center to provide storm preparedness workshops as well as to present on cultural heritage.  Gwine ta