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Sustaining a Nation by Queen Quet @GullahGeechee

December 8, 2018

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)

Since 1996, I have toured various states and countries on the “Save the Sea Islands Tour.”  This year in honor of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition‘s two decades celebration, the tour was continued as the “Gullah/Geechee Save the Sea Islands World Tour.”   I give thanks for everyone that contributed a dollar or more and to those that sincerely prayed for my safety and the upliftment of the Gullah/Geechee Nation for every leg of every journey that I have taken over these decades.

When I started out doing this work over almost 4 decades ago, no one else used the term “Gullah/Geechee” and now it is a hashtag unto itself.  I was led to put the two words together in order to unify my people who had been separated by those that truly sought to destroy our spirits and exploit our abilities in the process.  The fortunate reality is that there are people around the world that now know of the existence of #GullahGeechee history, heritage, and culture.  However, the unfortunate thing is that due to the saturation of the entertainment and tourist markets with storytelling and misleading representations via museums, replicated sites, non-Gullah/Geechee operated events, tourism agencies, and now even museums that seek to exploit grant money, the work that the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation are doing has become that much more difficult.  These misrepresentations and continued financial exploitation are creating a narrative that is anti-self determination and anti-self-sufficiency and leaves the sharing of Gullah/Geechee history in the hands of those that do not and have never lived the culture and in the hands of the assimilated that wanted no part of it until they could get paid or get a title position on a commission or at an institution.

Meanwhile, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network, Geechee Kunda, the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, and the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Committee of Northeast Florida still stand as legitimate Gullah/Geechee organizations that are actually Gullah/Geechee owned, operated, directed, and funded.  These groups were founded by native Gullah/Geechees that seek to insure that our history, heritage, cultural traditions, and land ownership are continued.  The projects and programs that they sponsor and host are proudly authentically Gullah/Geechee!  Tenk GAWD dem chillun kno who webe!

Each one of these groups pay homage to our ancestors by continuing to hold onto the land that their blood, sweat, and tears is within and to continue to teach the next generation how to be self-sustaining on the land and how to spiritually give thanks for it all and in the midst of it all.  The work that they do daily is becoming more and more difficult with funds being funneled away from the traditionalists into the coffers of institutions and organizations spearheaded by non-Gullah/Geechees coupled with the numerous land issues including displacement, gentrification, climate change, sea level rise, seismic gun testing, and attempts at oil exploration.   However, no matter how difficult the challenge, if our ancestors had the will to survive the TransAtlantic Slave Trade and chattel enslavement, we KNOW we have the will to fight back and leave a legacy of self-determination for our children in the Gullah/Geechee Nation!

While slavery’s indelible mark on the psyches of those that work against self-determination is quite apparent, there are thousands of others that do not seek to compete against us or undo the work.  They instead want to collaborate and be part of the efforts to insure that Gullah/Geechee culture remains intact on our homeland from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  They work with the leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation via the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and the aforementioned organizations to improve the quality of life for not only this generation of Gullah/Geechees, but for the generations to come.

I will never be able to individually thank all of the people that have supported me over the decades or even on the Gullah/Geechee Save the Sea Islands World Tour this year.  However, I am thankful for social media that allows many of you to communicate your support and to encourage me to continue the journey.  Hunnuh chillun mek mi kno sey, mi libbin ain dee een vain!  Tenk GAWD fa hunnuh ya!

As this year’s world tour draws to a close and we get prepared for our annual break at the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, I want to leave everyone (whether you are for or against me) with this message that succinctly provides information on how one sustains a nation:

 

For those of you that contributed to the Gullah/Geechee Land Legacy Fund (https://www.gofundme.com/gullahgeechee-land-legacy-fund) and to the fundraisers to send me to the United Nations and on this global journey, my message from Thailand will only confirm the reason you are a part of Gullah/Geechee sustainability.  For all others, I pray that this message will have you rethink things and not just follow or troll us socially, but truly come and work WITH us.  “Wok togedda chillun, don cha git wearee” da wha hunnuh see we da do e ain juss wha hunnuh yeddi!  So, fa all hunnuh wan da support de #GullahGeechee, GAWD bless hunnuh and tenki tenki!  Mi pray fa see hunnuh pun de necks journee fa #GullahGeechee sustainability!

Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee  in Rice Paddy in Thailand

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) has dedicated her life to sustaining the land and cultural traditions of her people. She has coupled her efforts with the global community to combat climate change and sea level rise and to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She continues her journey to keep the Gullah/Geechee legacy alive on the land. Tenk GAWD!

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

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Gullah/Geechee Artists Featured at Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival 2018

October 23, 2018

De Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association will host its 5th Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from Noon to 6 pm at the Hunting Island Nature Center.  The Hunting Island Nature Center is on the left at the foot of the bridge to Fripp Island.  This marsh side of the island will be the location of the cooking of the wonderful Gullah/Geechee cuisine including roasted oysters and the serving of devil crabs, fried fish, shrimp salad, gumbo, red rice, peas and rice and more.   It will also be where traditional Gullah/Geechee fishing practices will be demonstrated.

Families and organizations are encouraged to come out and support this fundraising and family interactive event.  Bring fishing and beach gear and come out to enjoy the Paradise Pier while meeting numerous Gullah/Geechee artists.

Featured artists are Ment Nelson and Quadré Stuckey.  These native Gullah/Geechees have captured sea life from the perspective of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and will have their paintings and books on sale.  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation who is also a founding member of the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association will do book, CD, and DVD signings throughout the day.

The event is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, and All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™).   AMP will provide the music for the day.  So bring chairs and also your dancing shoes and come out to support the Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival!  Ef hunnuh wan nyam pun sum good ting frum de sea, disya da place fa be cum Satdee!

Obtain advance passes here in order to skip the line for the Gullah/Geechee Seafood Festival:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullahgeechee-seafood-festival-2018-tickets-41539032364

Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Receives Community Service Award from South Carolina Coalition for Voter Participation

October 2, 2018

Queen Quet Receives BJ Whipper Community Service Award

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) was honored by the South Carolina Coalition for Voter Participation at a banquet in Charleston, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.   Queen Quet was chosen to receive the Rev. Dr. BJ Whipper Sr. Award which recognizes an individual for his or her unselfish community work and her spiritual, economic, and political contributions to her home state.

Tune in for the Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) coverage of this historic event:

 

www.QueenQuet.com

 

Supporting Gullah/Geechee Nation Rebuilding, Restoration, and Storm Preparation

September 20, 2018

The northern most region of the Gullah/Geechee Nation has suffered a great deal of damage and loss due to Hurricane Florence and the subsequent flooding that is still on-going.  The leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation have been providing disaster and storm preparedness information and will increase the workshops and trainings throughout the coast following the return of many Gullah/Geechees to their homes in the Pee Dee River, Grand Strand, and Cape Fear regions.    In the meantime, they are amassing hygiene and household cleaning items, work gloves, work boots, and toiletries to make kits for those in need due to the displacements and disruptions caused by this massive storm.   In order to support the recovery effort, please donate via this link which will provide support to the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network and other non-profit organizations that have mobilized to help the people affected by the storm:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/schurricanerelief

Over one dozen rivers have already overflowed their banks and the waters are still rising.  The City of Wilmington, NC has essentially become an island.  So, the Gullah/Geechees that remain there cannot drive out to get supplies and many there stated that stores had essentially run out of items.   So, the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s leaders have been coordinating with the Black Emergency Management Association to find ways to bring supplies in via water with the assistance of the Coast Guard and others that have been doing rescues via boat and keeping us updated on what has been happening in the waters.

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is also collaborating with grassroots leaders in North Carolina to get volunteers and supplies into NC.  They have been able to coordinate some supply air drops and they are organizing those who have carpentry and others skills to come in for the restoration when the waters receded and roads reopen as well.

Go to www.tinyurl.com/flodropoff for an up-to-date list on North Carolina triangle donation drop-off locations and hours + supplies directly requested from Eastern NC partners on the ground.

DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS-DURHAM

Main Location: Durham Fruit Company – 305 S Dillard St, Durham, NC 27701

DROP-OFF HOURS:

Monday, Sept 17-Thursday Sept 20 from 10am-5pm

**Volunteers needed here to sort supplies and pick up donations and distribution sites today-Thursday. Fill out this form to sign-up or just SHOW up between the hours of 9:00am-6pm

Durham Food Co-op – 1111 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701

DROP-OFF HOURS:

Monday-Friday during open store hours

DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS-RALEIGH

NC A. Philip Randolph Institute – 1408 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh NC 27601

DROP-OFF HOURS:

Sunday-Friday 12pm-4pm

DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS- CHAPEL HILL/CARRBORO

Zog’s Pool Hall – 108 Henderson St (in between Franklin and Rosemary), Chapel Hill

Sunday-Tuesday 3pm-11pm

Steel String Brewery -106 S Greensboro St Carrboro, NC 27510

DROP-OFF HOURS:

Monday-Saturday 4pm-midnight

If anyone is interested in signing up to assist with the supply distribution of items that are coming in to the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition in South Carolina from Florida and coastal Carolina and will be driving to the northern part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation or you have carpentry and landscaping equipment and skills and want to help with restoration, please email GullGeeCo@aol.com.

Continue to pray for the strength, health, and healing of the families and the restoration of our coastal communities.

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeAngelNetwork.com

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

De Wata de Rise: World Water Monitoring Day een de Gullah/Geechee Nation

September 20, 2018

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)

Een de Gullah/Geechee Nation, hunnuh gwine yeddi we crak we teet fa sey:

“De wata bring we, de wata gwine tek we bak.”

It was surreal that this proverb would keep speaking to my soul about how people need to get back to working together and paying attention to our environment on the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast.   I kept hearing it in my mind as we watched the reports of the massive amounts of water that were being predicted would come onto Sea Island land and even inland due to Hurricane Florence.  Storm surge coupled with high tide is enough, but when you add rain over days and days, no one had any idea of how high the waters would rise nor when the rivers would crest nor how much inland dams would be able to take before the water flooded land for miles.

As we sat watching reports of water filling streets and shutting down highways including one of the main routes that has always brought many Gullah/Geechees back home-I-95, I started realizing that this is the “monitoring” of water that GOD had planned for me when he got me involved with the EarthEcho Water Challenge and kept speaking to me about being prepared for “World Water Monitoring Day.”

All of us consist primarily of water and we are told this time and time again when it is hot and we are reminded to stay hydrated (not that we don’t need to do that during the winter also).  What we often forget is that water is also a universal solvent, collecting all the elements of its environment which eventually end up in things that we touch and ingest.  World Water Monitoring Day was established by America’s Clean Water Foundation in 2003 to encourage and educate people on how to monitor the components of the water in their local area.   The data gathered about the various bodies of water is intended to be shared through various resources, including the World Water Monitoring Challenge website www.monitorwater.org and that of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition‘s partner, EarthEcho at their website: http://worldwatermonitoringday.org/

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition distributed monitoring kits to the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association and its members between World Water Day in March, the Coastal Cultures Conference 2018, and World Water Monitoring Day.  In order to insure the involvement of our youths in this citizens science engagement, we donated monitoring kits to St. Helena Elementary School on World Water Monitoring Day so that the students can help to test the waters now that the storm has passed by the island.

Unfortunately, the waters throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation are not all at the same level.  The rivers in the Grand Strand, Pee Dee River, and Cape Fear River regions of the Gullah/Geechee Nation are currently areas from which families are being evacuated. Those monitoring the waters are watching them continue to rise as they await the coming of the fall equinox.  The predictions are that the rivers will crest and the rains will stop as the full / harvest moon arrives.   We can only pray that we harvest an abundance of safe people when the waters recede and that we are blessed with fresh healing waters that will wash out those filled with contamination from hog and chicken farms, failing septic tanks, coal ash spills, and nuclear plant issues along the North Carolina waterways.

May we continue to not only monitor the waters, but work more toward returning them to being clean and keeping them that way.  As stated in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #6:

“Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in and there is sufficient fresh water on the planet to achieve this. However, due to bad economics or poor infrastructure, millions of people including children die every year from diseases associated with inadequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene.

Water scarcity, poor water quality and inadequate sanitation negatively impact food security, livelihood choices and educational opportunities for poor families across the world. At the current time, more than 2 billion people are living with the risk of reduced access to freshwater resources and by 2050…

To improve sanitation and access to drinking water, there needs to be increased investment in management of freshwater ecosystems and sanitation facilities on a local level.”

While we focus on achieving this goal on land, we are also looking at “Life Below Water” (SDG #14):

“The world’s oceans – their temperature, chemistry, currents and life – drive global systems that make the Earth habitable for humankind. Our rainwater, drinking water, weather, climate, coastlines, much of our food, and even the oxygen in the air we breathe, are all ultimately provided and regulated by the sea. Throughout history, oceans and seas have been vital conduits for trade and transportation.

Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future. However, at the current time, there is a continuous deterioration of coastal waters owing to pollution and ocean acidification is having an adversarial effect on the functioning of ecosystems and biodiversity. This is also negatively impacting small scale fisheries.

Marine protected areas need to be effectively managed and well-resourced and regulations need to be put in place to reduce overfishing, marine pollution and ocean acidification.”

We are aware of these changes to our waters taking place because the scientists have been monitoring the water even before it rose and made its way onto the land or rain down from the sky.  They are looking at it even more intently and intensely at this time and so are we cuz we kno de wata bring we.  I pray de wata risin mek hunnuh look pun de wata fa de blessin e kin be.  I also pray that people truly realize the value and power of water and monitor its health so that we can live in and from it and remain healthy.  I also pray for all the families to make it out of these rising waters safely.

 


 

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation was one of the world leaders that took part in the Global Climate Action Summit.  She shared the following message regarding the water and how we all need to also rise up to protect our environment:

 

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com