Archive for the ‘Political Action’ Category

Hilton Head Island Proclaims Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week 2017!

June 21, 2017

The Town of Hilton Head Island, SC continues its participation in “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” this year.  Mayor Bennett presented Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( with a proclamation to this effect during the June town council meeting which was also broadcasted live.


Interestingly enough, the Town of Hilton Head took the celebration one step further when they unanimously voted for a “Gullah/Geechee Land Preservation Task Force” to be seated for the island.

Hilton Head Town Council Votes for Gullah/Geechee Land Preservation Task Force

Queen Quet was very pleased to witness this given that the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition used the Ruda/t Report which was provided to them by some of their members that were doing research on Hilton Head Island as a basis to host meetings with the various property owners associations that are split up across the island a decade ago.  At that time, many of the native islanders already felt defeated and did not see the value in continuing to press the issue of working together to hold onto the land and to insure the recognition of Gullah/Geechee culture on the island.   So, we look forward to what will come with the work of this new task force given the continued myriad of land issues and the commercialization of Gullah/Geechee culture for tourism purposes on the island.  We look forward to the native Gullah/Geechees stepping forward to truly carry out the task of reviving living Gullah/Geechee traditions throughout Hilton Head especially during Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week.

Jasper County Proclaims Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation

June 20, 2017

Queen Quet Receives Jasper County Gullah/Geechee Nation Proclamation

Jasper County Council in South Carolina presented Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( with a proclamation in honor of “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week 2017.”  Jayn we fa disya July 29-August 6, 2017 een de Gullah/Geechee Nation!


Jasper County Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Proclamation 2017

President Obama Declares National Reconstruction Monument in Beaufort, SC

January 12, 2017

President Barak Obama declared three new United States National Monuments by using the Antiquities Act to “preserve critical chapters of our country’s history” and to “ensure that our national parks, monuments and public lands are fully reflective of our nation’s diverse history and culture.”  One of these new national monuments is the multi-site “Reconstruction National Monument” in Beaufort County, SC.  It will include the Brick Baptist Church and Darrah Hall which are both in the Penn Center National Landmark Historic District on St. Helena Island, SC as well as the site of the Emancipation Oak at Camp Saxton in Port Royal.   All of these sites have major significance to the spiritual and land rights story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as well as to the on-going battle for freedom and full recognition of the contributions of people of African descent to America.

When the journey began a decade and a half ago in regard to posing the idea of having a Reconstruction study conducted by the US National Park Service, there was major opposition by the descendants of the Confederacy.  However, when Congressman James Clyburn and Director Jonathan Jarvis hosted a public meeting on historic St. Helena Island, SC during December 2016, every person that spoke was in favor of the “Reconstruction National Monument.”  Every face from which a voice emitted reflected the full spectrum of “diversity” since there was a wide array of Gullah/Geechee and non-Gullah/Geechee, anglo and people of color, male and female, and no doubt folks from a varying array of political parties and positions in the church.  I am sure that Brick Church had not seen such a mixture of people fill this building to the rafters since the Civil War era!

dsc08611As I sat there and witnessed and documented this historic moment, I thought about how the discussion previously was ready to ignite just what a documentary that I consulted for used as a sub-heading-the second civil war!  Now, even if some of the parties in the room were there looking at this controversial era as another way to bring in tourism dollars versus an opportunity to finally tell the entire story, it was a blessing that there will now be a platform from which this story will be revisited.  This time it will include what Gullah/Geechees did during that era and how we still dey ya pun de land wha bin paat ob disya!

Gullah/Geechees in Reconstruction: The Second Civil War

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation consulted for “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War” and sang for the score. She is one of the re-enactors in several scenes as depicted here in the Tunis Campbell settlement scene shot on the Georgia coast of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (

After having served on the National Park Service Relevancy Committee, it feels good to know that our discussions about how the NPS would go forth after its 100th anniversary was not in vain.  President Obama and all those that supported this effort have insured that the national monuments reflected in the system will be diverse and relevant to people from all walks of life including those of a rural Sea Island.

As I walked out of the Brick Baptist Church down the dirt road on my beloved St. Helena Island, as I have done countless times in my life, I felt like I was walking with many of those that we still honor such as Harriet Tubman, Charlotte Forten, Suzie King Taylor, Martin Delaney, and the 1st South Carolina Volunteers that left their tracks in the Sea Island soil of Beaufort County, SC.  They seemed to be back standing on the island once again ready to shout like folks did at the first reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.  I was shouting with them because I have been blessed to work with people that love history with all its pains and controversy, trials, and triumphs.  We have stood together to battle to insure that the entire story was told and our cries were heard inside the White House!  As a result, we have definitely had a triumph with the declaration of the “Reconstruction National Monument” in Beaufort County, SC!  Tenki Tenki frum allawe President Barak Obama!


Queen Quet

Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Founder, Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition

Tune in to “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War” to learn more about the significance of that era:


Future of Lady’s Island

January 5, 2017

Gullah/Geechee Nation FlagFrom Queen Quet RE: Lady’s Island Fwd: Save The Date – Jan. 12

Please save the date!  On Thursday, January 12th 2017, the Coastal Conservation League and Sea Island Corridor Coalition invite you and your neighbors to rethink the future of Lady’s Island.

This is not a night of speeches but an interactive community forum, led by experts, to examine issues related to development, traffic and community preservation. It revolves around your ideas and experiences, and we hope you can join us.

This will be a great opportunity to learn alongside two national experts, each with ties to Beaufort. Victor Dover, of Dover Kohl Associates in Miami, and Josh Martin, Senior Advisor to the Mayor of Charleston, will be with us to spark ideas and help make recommendations we can share with the City of Beaufort and Beaufort County.

This community forum is designed to capture your voice – so put January 12th, 2017 on your calendar! This is your opportunity to take part in the foundation for the growth and development of Lady’s Island, and its role as a transition between the urban neighborhoods of Beaufort and the rural landscapes of St. Helena. Learn more and register for the event by clicking here.

Attendance is free. Please invite your family, your friends and your neighbors to join us – Thursday, January 12th, 2017 at Lady’s Island Elementary School. Check-in begins at 5:30 p.m.

Learn more about the Sea Island Corridor Coalitionon its website here.

Learn more about the Coastal Conservation League on its website here.

Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol! Lun mo bout who webe


December 9, 2016

From Victoria Smalls at Penn Center:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 8, 2016

CONTACT:   Patrick Devlin, 202-226-3210



COLUMBIA, SC – Assistant Democratic Leader James E. Clyburn today announced that National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will travel to South Carolina to visit proposed sites that are under consideration to be included as part of a Reconstruction Era national monument and to attend a public meeting hosted by Rep. Clyburn to hear feedback from the public on the proposal.

“I am thrilled that Director Jarvis will be coming to visit Penn Center, Brick Baptist Church, and other historic sites from the Reconstruction Era in Beaufort and Port Royal.  Our country desperately needs to better understand this era of our history, and including these sites in the National Park System is critical to this effort.  We must preserve these places and stories for future generations as well as make them accessible to the public.  The National Park Service is entrusted with stewardship of our nation’s most sacred historic places, and I hope to include these sites in the system.  I also thank Captain Korsnes for his participation and the U.S. Navy’s interest in the preservation of these sites.”

WHAT: Public meeting with federal and local officials and community leaders to discuss a Reconstruction Era national monument proposal.

WHEN:  Thursday, December 15, 12:00 P.M – 2:00 P.M.

WHERE:  Brick Baptist Church, 85 Martin Luther King Drive, St. Helena Island, SC 29920.

WHO:  Local elected officials and community leaders will provide information regarding the proposal.  Federal officials attending to hear comments from the public include:

·         Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, National Park Service

·         Captain Jeffrey Korsnes, Commanding Officer, U.S. Naval Support Facility Beaufort

Below link is the public notice of the meeting:

·         Public Meeting Notice

Below link is a map and description of the five proposed sites:

·         Map & Site Descriptions

Earlier this year, Congressman Clyburn wrote to President Obama requesting he use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate Penn Center and other Reconstruction Era sites as a national monument.  He introduced model legislation on May 26, 2016 to establish the Penn School – Reconstruction Era National Monument.

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