Archive for the ‘Educational Opportunities’ Category

Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival on Historic St. Helena Island, SC

March 21, 2018
Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 
on Historic St. Helena Island, SC
St. Helena Island, SC is the home to a thriving Gullah/Geechee community.  It is one of the largest contiguous Gullah/Geechee communities in the Gullah/Geechee Nation from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  Many of the families on St. Helena Island can recount stories of rice fields that were planted and harvested by their elders and their ancestors.  Last year, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( who is a native of St. Helena Island was presented with rice seeds by the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation and Dr. Francis Morean.  She was able to grow rice where her grandfather last grew it decades ago on the island.
Queen Quet is returning to Trinidad and Tobago in March on the “Save the Sea Islands World Tour” in order to provide a keynote address at the “TnT International Hill Rice Symposium” where she delivered a keynote in 2016.   From there, she will return to her home island to host the “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” in conjunction with the St. Helena Island Community Market on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Park at the intersection of Highway 21/Sea Island Parkway and Dr. Martin Luther King Drive on St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  This event that is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island CoalitionSt. Helena Island Community Market, and All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) is FREE and open to the public, but they do request that attendees obtain passes on EventBrite at
Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 2018
The “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” will celebrate the history of rice amongst the Gullah/Geechee.  Traditional Gullah/Geechee rice dishes will be on sale along with other Gullah/Geechee crafts, books, CDs, and DVDs.  There will be music provided by All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) at this festival celebrating cultural heritage and the historic legacy of the Gullah/Geechee.  Bring de famlee and jayn we!  Cum nyam pun wha we nyam pun mongst de Gullah/Geechee.

Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Conferences 2018

February 7, 2018

Millions of visitors come to the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast annually seeking to get a look at the natives, hear the Gullah/Geechee language spoken, and to get a taste of the food!  Millions also come through and to the Sea Islands and Lowcountry from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL without ever realizing that they are within the boundaries of a region wherein there is a unique culture that has been recognized internationally.  Many of them are shocked and intrigued to learn of the existence of the Gullah/Geechee people and they take time to seek out information on the people through websites and books that are many times written inaccurately by non-Gullah/Geechee people.  So, in order to help people learn more about the continuing legacy of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, several conferences take place annually.

During Black History Month, the conferences are offering early bird registration discounts.  These are wonderful opportunities engage in interactive activities and dialogues with people that live the Gullah/Geechee culture and learn first hand how they continue to keep their cultural heritage alive.  You can also learn how you can be an active part of assisting in that process.  The Gullah/Geechees encourage hunnuh fa jayn we fa yeddi who webe frum we!

• The Black Folks Land Legacy Conference which is held on historic St. Helena Island, SC allows visitors to engage in supporting the historic sites and Gullah/Geechee businesses on this island which is still 90-95% Gullah/Geechee owned.  The conference luncheon is a traditional Gullah/Geechee meal.  To register go to

Black Folks Land Legacy Conference 2018


• The Coastal Cultures Conference is in its sixth year.  This annual conference which will be held on historic St. Helena Island, SC is hosted and presented by the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.  The Gullah/Geechee people are a group that is being turned to from people around the world for advice on resilience and adaptation due to the fact that in spite of hurricanes, storm surge, sea level rise, drought, and numerous other climate change effects, the Gullah/Geechee Nation still exist and their cultural heritage continues to be sustained.  To come be a part of a day filled with Gullah/Geechee activities, cuisine, and intellectual dialogue about the environment and how to keep cultural heritage alive within it.  Register here at

Coastal Cultures Conference 2018

• Come out to the inaugural “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” in Beaufort, SC!  Beaufort County, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation is the location of the multi-site Reconstruction Era National Monument.  This conference will allow the participants to see several of the sites associated with Reconstruction from the perspective of the Gullah/Geechee people.  The site of the conference presentations will be the new Mather School Museum and Interpretive Center.  The weekend will begin with a tour at that site and around Beaufort and the weekend will culminate with a tribute at 3 pm at the Harriet Tubman Bridge on the Combahee River.  To register go to

Realities of Reconstruction Conference


Disya gwine hep hunnuh fa kno who webe.  So, cum fa jayn de Gullah/Geechee and yeddi frum we!

Gullahs of Achievement: A Celebration of Black History

February 3, 2018
The landmark St. Helena Branch Library will host its annual free Black History Month celebration on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 6 pm.  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition will provide the keynote address for the program themed “Gullahs of Achievement.”  Queen Quet will focus on the legacy of Gullah/Geechee native Robert S. Abbott who founded “The Defender” newspaper and how his publication altered the history of tens of thousands of people of African descent during the era that is now referred to as “The Great Migration.”
Gullahs of Achievement
Queen Quet was chosen to provide the keynote address not only due to her on-going support of the “Gullah/Geechee Living History Series” that goes on annually at the St. Helena Branch Library, but also due to the fact that she is one of two St. Helena Island natives to ever be presented with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History‘s “Living Legacy Award.”   ASALH is the organization that was founded by the father of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  So, receiving an honor as a living legacy is a true accolade and a testimony to Queen Quet’s commitment to Black history and cultural heritage.  She continues to live up to this honor by making sure to share the history that she loves at numerous venues annually for Black History Month.  So, she invites and encourages you to bring out the family to celebrate Gullahs of Achievement.
For more information, email or call (843)255-6486.

Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol!

Lun mo bout who webe

Fighting for History-The Fort Fremont Story

January 20, 2018

During the annual members meeting at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library, the Friends of Fort Fremont premiered the documentary, “Fort Fremont: The Last Bastion in the Defense of Port Royal Sound 1898 – 1912.” This is the untold story of our local historic landmark and Beaufort’s role in the Spanish-American War.

Friends of Fort Fremont Documentary Premiere

Interestingly enough, the film also provides brief insight into the US Civil War and the role that St. Helena and Hilton Head Islands played in it.   This allowed the Gullah Statesman Robert Smalls to be mentioned within the context of how the naval operations came to be located in Beaufort County, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  Unfortunately, the Gullah/Geechee men that ultimately built the fort were not mentioned in this initial film which will enhance the visitor experience prior to tours of Fort Fremont which is located on historic St. Helena Island, SC.  The Friends of Fort Fremont begin a monthly tour of the site from the St. Helena Branch Library on the final Saturday of each month at 10:30 am.

The Friends of Fort Fremont have raised thousands of dollars which will be used to create an interpretive center at the Fort Fremont site.   They have received a number of approvals for this and have the support of the county to proceed.   So, they continue to seek members and volunteers that will assist with site maintenance and enhancement and with handling the visitors that will be coming to learn of this part of the history of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast.  For those that would like to be a part of the battalion of historians that are continuing to fight for Fort Fremont, attending the tour and/or one of the coming film showings is a great starting point.

As one of the people that fought to keep the property of Fort Fremont from being a site for a planned unit development (PUD), it is wonderful to see the progress that has been made by people coming together to fight for this part of St. Helena Island’s history.   I salute the Friends of Fort Fremont for the outstanding effort!

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

Queen Quet is a Friends of Fort Fremont

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( is the first Gullah/Geechee to become a member of the Friends of Fort Fremont.  She was one of the Beaufort County historians that initially fought to have the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands Board purchase the site to prevent it from destructionment.  That board and the Beaufort County Open Land Trust purchased the property to keep it public in perpetuity.  The Friends of Fort Fremont have since provided kiosk and brochures so that visitors will understand the history of the site beyond the historic markers that sit outside the fence as they proceed inside.

The organization accepts membership dues and donations at

Celebrating Reconstruction in Beaufort, SC @GullahGeechee

January 10, 2018

One year ago, hundreds of people gathered together on historic St. Helena Island, SC in celebration of a major victory-receiving the Reconstruction Era National Monument designation for multiple sites in Beaufort County, SC at Gullah/Geechee.  Since that time, institutions and organizations have started focusing on the history of the timeframe from 1865 to 1877 in order to offer visitors to St. Helena Island, Beaufort, and Port Royal numerous places in which they can learn the importance of the era that followed the end of the United States Civil War.

On January 12, 2018, the public is invited to join the National Park Service (NPS) and park partners to celebrate the one year anniversary of the creation of Reconstruction Era National Monument. Festivities will kick off at 10 a.m. with a special program featuring music and remarks from the NPS, United States Congressional delegation and park partners at the Beaufort Arsenal, located at 713 Craven Street in Beaufort. The highlight will be the unveiling of a unique piece of art by Gullah/Geechee artist Sonja Griffin Evans to celebrate the park’s anniversary.

From noon 4 p.m., special talks, tours and activities will be offered at each of the four sites comprising Reconstruction Era National Monument:

●       Beaufort Arsenal – Tours of Beaufort’s downtown Reconstruction-related sites.

●       Darrah Hall at Penn Center – Talks, junior youth praise dance and programs on Reconstruction.

●       Brick Baptist Church – Praise dances, spirituals and educational programs.

●       Camp Saxton via Fort Fredrick site – Fort tours and activities relating to the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation at Camp Saxton on January 1, 1863.

●       Old Beaufort Firehouse – NPS and park partners will offer a variety of educational information about Reconstruction and historic Lowcountry.

All of the events for the day are free.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is dedicated to commemorating the period from 1861 through 1900 when nearly four million previously enslaved Africans sought to integrate into a free society and into the educational, economic, and political life of the country that they actually built.   The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition in collaboration with Gullah African Diaspora Artists (GADA) will host a conference that will delve deeply into the Gullah/Geechee story of Reconstruction.  The Realities of Reconstruction Conference” will be held at the new Mather Museum and Interpretive Center which is located at the historic Mather School campus which is now the Technical College of the Lowcountry.  The conference will give the participants an opportunity to visit several sites beyond those that are officially a part of the Reconstruction Era National Monument.  It will conclude with a tribute to Harriet Tubman held at the Combahee River where she led a historic raid along with Colonel Montgomery during the US Civil War.   Registration for this interactive conference is now open at


Realities of Reconstruction Conference

Hunnuh cum and bring de famlee fa celebrate Reconstruction een Beaufort County @GullahGeechee!