Archive for February, 2017

Hollywood “Underground” in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

February 28, 2017

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation directs the rice paddy scene for “Underground” Season 2.

The WGN hit series, “Underground” found its way to the Gullah/Geechee Nation to shoot Season 2. Not only did they film in Savannah, GA, the story is set on the Sea Islands. Numerous native Gullah/Geechees will appear in the coming season. In order to authenticate the Gullah/Geechee traditions and songs that are depicted, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( was brought in to be the Gullah/Geechee Consultant for the series.

Queen Quet who just celebrated her anniversary as an Association of African American Life and History (ASALH) “Living Legend” is a native of historic St. Helena Island, SC. Queen Quet is no stranger to working with Hollywood. She was also the Gullah/Geechee Heritage Consultant for the Hollywood blockbuster, “The Patriot.” She has appeared in feature films, TV shows, and numerous documentaries. As much as she enjoys being on camera, she enjoys helping to write and direct. She got a chance to work with all of these aspects of this season’s “Underground.”


Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( Gullah/Geechee Consultant for WGN’s “Underground” at work on the set of Season 2.

Queen Quet was also one of the people that led the establishment of the “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.” She has spent decades working on Underground Railroad research and has toured with her own production, “The Underground Railroad: A Geechee Girl’s Escape.” It tells the story of a young woman running from the Sea Islands during the period of chattel enslavement whereas “Underground” has folks coming to the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Many that come to St. Helena Island seek out two of their natives that are known around the world-Queen Quet and American Idol winner, Candice Glover. They will get a chance to see them on their screens from the comfort of their own homes shortly as these two get to proudly represent their ancestors on “Underground” which premieres on WGN on March 8th. They want everyone to RISE UP and tune in! E gwine be a time!

Fa lil taste a wha cumin pun “Underground” wha da Gullah/Geechee, tek a look a disya and see:



WW1 Devil Dog Presentation

February 24, 2017

From Jim at HPRF:

Tues. Feb. 28th, 6 pm at Union Church, Port Royal

The USMC fought hard at Belleau Wood in France, so tough that the term Teufelhunden, Devil Dog, was given to the warriors of the relentless battle.

On Tuesday, Feb. 28th, at 6 pm, the Parris Island Historic and Museum Society and the Historic Port Royal Foundation will host Stephen Price at Union Church, 1004 11th St. Port Royal.

Price, a PI Museum technician, in period uniform will discuss the Battle of Belleau Wood.  As a member of the Living History Detachment of the PIH&MS, Price often portrays a Devil Dog at local regional and national reenacments. In 2018, Price will accompany a group of Living History Detachment members to Belleau Wood, to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of that momentous battle.

On Tuesday April, 25th, Michael Miller, historian and Archivist Emeritus, Marine Corps History Division will discuss his newest endeavor, a 4 volume definitive history on the Marines in WWI.  His articles can be found in Leatherneck, Fortitudine, Civil War Times Illustrated, Blue and Gray Magazine and Gettysburg Magazine.

These events are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served after the talks.

For additional information, please contact:

Caroline Fermin, 843-228-3215

Jim Crower, 843-322-0690

“Underground” Gullah/Geechee Journey

February 21, 2017

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

“I know ya hafa run!  Ya hafa run run run!”

I can hear these words emitting from the ancestral soul of my grandfather each time I get reconnected to the tracks of the Underground Railroad story.

I had no idea how much these words would push me on and on over the decades of my journey

As I dig through the records and the books and what people had scribed about all it took for them to be free.

I give thanks for knowing what they went through because it keeps the freedom energy within me.

Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and WGN Underground

Over two decades ago, GOD had it that I picked up a document for the “Underground Railroad Study” while I was on a journey retracing the tracks and footprints of people like Harriet Tubman, William Still, and Mary Ellen and William Craft.   I then wrote a production called “The Underground Railroad: A Geechee Girl’s Escape” and was blessed to present it all over New York City and in various parts of South Carolina including on my home island St. Helena from which my freedom path began.

In numerous meetings for the “Underground Railroad Study,” I kept arguing the point that you can’t tell the stories from up north!  Where did the people run from?  They came from the plantations of the south!   People self-emancipated from those fields.  They didn’t wait for a Quaker or anyone else to come tap them on the shoulder.  It was within their own hearts and souls to RUN!

Ultimately, the Underground journey took me northward to DC and to Philly to tell the Underground Railroad story from the perspective of the Gullah/Geechee.  It showed that people fought and that the freedom trail did not just go north.  Many went south and some even went west.  When I finally saw the map for what became the “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom,” I knew I’d been blessed!

All my life I had a connection to this story because the first book I ever checked out of a library as a child was Harriet Tubman’s story.   I have numerous awards for embodying her spirit and her energy.   So, there was truly no surprise for me to go from helping establish the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom to working on the Harriet Tubman Study.

What I researched about Harriet Tubman and her living in what we call “Town” would land on deaf ears of the historians that Beaufort County, SC had around.  It took decades for her name to be accepted as having been here as a soldier, scout, nurse and a business owner too.  The story truly has not fully been told about all that she came to the Sea Islands to do.  Nonetheless, we have a bridge to honor her and soon there will also be a sculpted monument too.   Mother Moses if no one else has done so, I say, “Thank you.”

I thought that with the successful progress of what is being done for Harriet Tubman now including the possibility of her being on a US bill, there was nothing left to engage in regarding this part of the freedom story.  So, I continued on with this modern day freedom fight which is quite a journey.  Along the way, I got an email saying that folks from “Underground” would like to talk to you.  I had to verify that this was the WGN TV folks and that this was actually true.  I recalled how in Season 1 they sang a Gullah/Geechee song and how I felt that our energy had reached them, but it is only when we are together that the polyrhythmic power gets strong.   I found myself recalling the moment that I got multiple tags on Facebook because Ernestine sat there singing a Gullah/Geechee spiritual in a way that made the words seem like simply a dream.  The shock of hearing music of the Gullah/Geechee Nation on one of my favorite TV shows caused me to scream!

Due to John Legend and WGN the dream of seeing the Underground story of the freedom fighters had finally come to be.   It also turned out that this spirit of freedom had continued to reach out far ahead of me and this entire set of show producers was considering coming to shoot in this land of the Gullah/Geechee.  I told them how this entire story had continued to inspire and uplift and how their arrival on our coast could be nothing short of a gift.  So, in they came with all it took to shoot Season 2 and then I got multiple emails and a call saying, “The folks of Underground are looking for you!”   So, what was there left for me to do, but put on again my running shoes and get to the set.  I thought Season 1 was fire, but Season 2 is about is hot as it can get!

As I looked out over the ancestral spirits surrounding everyone that thought that they were just cast and crew, it was hard for me to contain myself I just gotta tell you!  I got to shoutin more than one time each day!  The images are often much more than the words can say.  So, I invite those not familiar with “Underground” on WGN to watch the Season 1 Marathon on February 25th with a friend.  If you saw it last season, watch it all over again!

WGN Underground Season 1 Marathon

On March 8th, it is time to do what we who believe in freedom often have to do, we fight, we run, and we live to fight again too!  So, afta hunnuh chillun see disya, hunnuh gwine no why and wha hunnuh hafa run to.   See ef hunnuh kin catch me, cuz disya Gullah/Geechee ooman dun runnin fa freedum way ahead ob u!

Queen Quet of Gullah/Geechee and WGN Underground Cast

Queen Quet of Gullah/Geechee Consults for WGN's Underground

Santa Elena History Center Programs

February 20, 2017
Event and Program Announcements
from the Santa Elena History Center
February 17-28              

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!

The Search for Fort San Marcos

Fort San Marcos was constructed at Santa Elena in 1577 after the former Spanish capital had been abandoned for a year.  Brought in prefabricated form from St. Augustine, it was set up and made defensible in only six days.  It was replaced by a second Fort San Marcos after five years of use.  Dr. DePratter began his search for this fort in 1993, and he and his colleague, Dr. Victor Thompson, announced its’ discovery in summer, 2016.   This program will present the history of Fort San Marcos, detail the 23 year-long-search for it, and discuss the documentary and archaeological sources used in its recreation by model builder, Ruben Alex Coplo.
February 21, 2017 @ 3:00 pm –4:00 pm
Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $15.00
Instructor: Dr. Chester DePratter

The American Revolution and the European Wars of 1688-1815

In 1688 Europe was drawn into a series of wars that would not end until the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo in 1815.  The wars were about maintaining the balance of power in Europe and alliances shifted with every war—the only constant being that the English and French were always on the opposite side. The wars were global in scope as they were fought on the continent of Europe as well as other areas in the world where Europeans had interests: North America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.  This program will examine the War for American Independence in its worldly context as one of the wars in this series of conflicts—the only war the British clearly lost.
February 18, 2017 @ 2:30 pm –3:30 pm
Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $10.00
Instructor: Peggy Pickett
Echoes from Beaufort’s Past
This one hour production takes you back in time with 19th century music, dances, period dress, and diary accounts bringing to life the history of the Low Country. Hear the Gullah songs and the plantation stories that shaped a people who lived on these islands during antebellum and civil war times. (35 min. show and 25 minutes antebellum dance instruction)
February 17, 21, 24, 28 2017 @ 1:30 pm –2:30 pm

Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $10.00
Instructor: Evelene Stevenson
Free Research Sites: Part I:
Have you used the FamilySearch website and not been able to find what you were looking for? Or, are you new to genealogy and wish to learn how to use this excellent free resource to locate information on your ancestors? If so, this class is for you. Shelley Block has used the FamilySearch website since it was first launched in 1999 and she will show you how to use it effectively to locate records.
February 23, 2017 @ 1:30 pm –3:30 pm
Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $15.00   ($10.00 for Heritage Library members)
Instructor: Shelley Block
Home School Days

Our flexibly structured Home School Days are designed for families to learn together while exploring the museum. We will have three different ongoing activity stations in addition to the exhibits, which can all be done at your own pace. Perfect for ages 6-14. Allow about an hour and a half to see and do everything.
February 24, 2017 @ 10:00 am –3:00 pm

Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $6.00 Children 5 and under free
Review of the Book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 
The remarkable book SAPIENS by historian Yuval Harari explores the history of humankind.  The author leads the reader through a wonderfully written and engaging journey beginning with our initial appearance 150,000 years ago through the developmental “revolutions” that lead to modern society. Dr. Andy Beall reviews the anthropology, science, social development, and economics Harari includes in his work.
February 25, 2017 @ 3:00 pm –4:00 pm
Santa Elena History Center
1501 Bay St., Beaufort, SC 29902
Cost: $10.00
Instructor: Dr. Andy Beall

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. 

Stop by the Heritage Library to explore your ancestry. The Heritage Library is open at the Santa Elena History Center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

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
Inaugural Exhibit “Santa Elena: America’s Untold Story”
now open to the public in the beautiful, historic former courtroom
Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 4pm  
Admission is $10/adult, $5/child (age 5-12), and free for children under 5, active duty and first responders.

USMC commemorates WWI

February 20, 2017

To: PIHMS Membership & Media E lists

From: Caroline Fermin           Executive Director PIHMS          843-228-3215

Press release for immediate release

Re: USMC commemorates WWI

Port Royal, SC:  The Parris Island Historic and Museum Society and Historic Port Royal Foundation are pleased to present a commemoration of the USMC in WWI.

Both of a 2 part series will be held HPRF’s Union Church 1004 11th Street., Port Royal, SC.

The first, Tues. Feb. 28th at 6:00 will be Steve Price of the PIHMS’ Living History Detachment. Price, in full WWI uniform, will discuss the Battle of Belleau Woods, where the Marine’s earned the title Devil Dog, Teufel Hunden from the German Army.

The 2nd speaker, Tues. April 25th, 6:00 will be Mike Miller, author of the multi book series, (at publishing house now) will discuss the USMC role and involvement in WWI.

PIHMS and HPRF are pleased to present this series as a public service and both events are free and open to the public.

For further information: Caroline Fermin–  Jim Crower–