Posts Tagged ‘Beaufort’

Realities of Reconstruction Conference to be held at Reconstruction Era National Monument

May 18, 2018
Realities of Reconstruction Conference to be held at the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation
 
(18 May 2018, Beaufort, SC, Gullah/Geechee Nation) Join us for the inaugural “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” to be held at the new Mather Museum & Interpretive Center at the Technical College of the Lowcountry campus in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

 

Beaufort County is now the location of the new multi-site Reconstruction Era National Monument.  The “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” will engage those interested in learning more about this largely untold story of the initial steps taken into freedom by the formerly enslaved Africans.   Interactive sessions and films about the Reconstruction Era and the part that people of African descent played as well as how they suffered due to political and financial setbacks will all be part of the dialogues at the “Realities of Reconstruction Conference.”

 

Friday, the “Realities of Reconstruction Conference” will begin with a tour of the new Mather Museum & Interpretive Center followed by “De Gullah/Geechee Reconstruction Storee Tour” led by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).  The tour will include engagement with the National Park Service interpretive rangers.

 

Saturday, the Reconstruction Luncheon and interactive conference sessions will take place at the site of the Mather School which was established during the Reconstruction Era.  Sessions will be led by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, Ahmad Ward of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, Dr. Najmah Thomas of the Department of Africana Studies at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort (USCB) and the National Park Service. The sessions will conclude in the late afternoon and a closing celebration will take place on historic St. Helena Island, SC with the local Gullah/Geechee community.

 

Sunday, conference participants are encouraged to attend worship services at one of the churches affiliated with the Reconstruction story.  At 2 pm, a caravan will depart from the Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center in order to go to a ceremony in honor of the Combahee River Raid which was led by Harriet Tubman and Colonel Montgomery during the United States Civil War.  Dayclean de African Spirit will conclude this historic ceremony which ends the conference.

 
 
Realities of Reconstruction FlyerFlyer art by Dianne Britton-Dunham and Nizar Ahbir.

 

Pre-Registration is required.  No on-site registrations will be done.  Proceeds will benefit the Mather Museum & Interpretive Center and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.  Go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/realities-of-reconstruction-conference-tickets-41538624143?aff=erelexpmlt

This event is being sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, GADA, USCB African Studies Department, the National Park Service, and All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™).

We look forward to bringing the truth of ourstory into reality in Beaufort County, SC.   Cum fa jayn we!

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

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Queen Quet featured on USCB’s Beaufort Blast

March 15, 2018

 

Queen Quet on USCB's Beaufort Blast

Tune in to USCB‘s Beaufort Blast featuring an interview with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com):

 

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-folks-land-legacy-conference-2018-gullahgeechee-to-seminole-transnational-identity-tickets-41537819737

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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/coastal-cultures-conference-2018-emergency-preparedness-and-cultural-continuation-in-coastal-tickets-41538499771

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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/realities-of-reconstruction-conference-tickets-41538624143

Realities of Reconstruction Conference

 

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

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

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

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/realities-of-reconstruction-conference-tickets-41538624143

 

Realities of Reconstruction Conference

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

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

 

Unveiling Harriet Tubman’s Work in Beaufort, SC

October 18, 2017

My entire life it seems that I have been on a journey with Mother Moses Harriet Tubman.   One of the first books that I ever took out of a library was a book about her life which led to me continuously seeking out more books about her.  Eventually, this led to me reading about the lives of countless others that self-emancipated and those that assisted with the Underground Railroad.

I started to travel to towns that I read about and would walk up to the doorways of homes that I believed were the addresses of safe houses.  Fortunately, GOD kept me safe as I entered these homes that sometimes had historic markers outside and others that I was told were down the road or down the hill.  I walked into these places as a complete stranger and actually went into hiding places inside of walls so that I would have the same experience that our ancestors that refused to remain enslaved had.

Along the way, I got to see wagons with hiding places built into them and I got to talk to descendants of these conductors and passengers who would recount the stories to me the way they had been passed down in their families.  I not only spoke to people in the United States, but crossed over into Canada to find the town that was settled by Josiah Henderson who was the person that the character, “Uncle Tom” was based on.  It saddens me that a man that took his freedom and independently built an area where he could assist other Black people in their freedom through economic empowerment has had his true story erased by fiction and negativity.  If people knew his story, they would take no offense at being an “Uncle Tom.” Thousands are still unaware of his land ownership and his life’s work.

Just like Mother Moses, I made it to Canada searching for that “Promised Land,” but ended up coming back across the boarder into New York.  My journey to upstate New York led me to another safe house that had a marker, but didn’t allow public tours.   Yet, the owner let me come inside and she took me through the house and then encouraged me to stop by the Seward House once I told her that I was on my way to the home of Harriet Tubman.   Little did I know that the mansion that was the Seward House was a necessary part of knowing the truth of Harriet Tubman’s story in New York.  William H. Seward offered to give Harriet Tubman land on which to live and she refused to take anything for free.  She worked to pay him for the land and obtained her deed for it.

As part of my journey, GOD had it that I would work with the Underground Railroad Study and be a featured presenter when we unveiled the logo for the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Hundreds of us came together to fight for national recognition of the stories of Harriet Tubman and the others who laid the tracks to freedom via the Underground Railroad.  Now that the network was established, more focus came to the most well known conductor, Harriet Tubman.  So, we got enlisted into working on the Harriet Tubman Study.  Just as when Mother Moses heard of the war being fought that could help emancipate her people, I did as she did and signed up for this service.

While we worked on the Harriet Tubman Study, I thought of her journey from upstate New York to Beaufort, SC.  I thought of traveling all that way by foot with a bounty on her head.  Yet, my thoughts could never fully encapsulate the magnitude of such a journey until I made my way up these hills and mountains in New York State to get to her lovely home in Auburn.  I was in a car and found some of the terrain unbelievable to navigate.  So, thinking of walking and being in carts while also having to costume and camouflage yourself in order to insure that you were not recaptured and sold or killed for the bounty only added more to the magnitude of the mission.

I was blessed on my mission to meet family members of Harriet Tubman that were still running the small interpretive center and the home.   I got a chance to talk to them and tell them where I was from and the distance I had traveled to finally visit this place.  They were happy to hear it and they shared answers to several questions that I had.  However, Beaufort, SC didn’t seem to trigger anything significant with them or to strike any chords.

Thankfully the Civil War and people leaving the north to head southward to help did strike a chord with Mother Moses Harriet Tubman which led her to Beaufort, SC.   Thankfully she hit the right chord with the Gullah/Geechees along the Combahee River when she stood next to Colonel Montgomery as a soldier and helped to orchestrate the Combahee River Raid to free over 700 enslaved Gullah/Geechees from the rice fields along that river and get them to Beaufort, SC where the Union occupation was in place.  Harriet Tubman was a nurse and a scout for the Union and one could also add “recruiting officer” to her credits given the hundreds of Gullah/Geechees that joined the Union troops and got mustered into service at Port Royal because of encounters with her throughout what is now the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

When I first discovered a small amount of information noting that Harriet Tubman was in Beaufort, SC, I took it to the local historical society and asked for the address of her home and bakery and was actually asked “Who is Harriet Tubman?”   As a response to that, I marched in the history parade as her and then brought my play, “The Underground Railroad: A Geechee Girl’s Escape” to the town and to my home island of St. Helena to begin to shed light on our ancestors contribution to this major part of history and ourstory.  I wanted people to be well aware that even the greatest heroine amongst the freedom seekers of the 1800s was here in our area and she met with people such as Charlotte Forten while she was here.  I wanted to insure that if nobody else told it, I would make sure her story was told.

After a decade, I got an invitation to the name changing ceremony of the Combahee River Bridge to the Harriet Tubman Bridge on October 18, 2008.  I proudly stood with Pastor Kenneth Hodges to hold the photo of the aerial shot of the bridge at the conclusion of the ceremony.  Little did I know then that we would stand together with shovels in hand to break ground for the Harriet Tubman Monument at the site of the Tabernacle Baptist Church campus.  On Saturday, May 27, 2017, we lifted the soil at the location where a statue honoring Mother Moses and depicting her leading our people will be placed.  The public finally got to see the model of the sculpture that has been created by Ed Dwight when it got unveiled at this location on October 17, 2017.

Harriet Tubman Monument Model

I am now looking forward to being able to physically stand up next to Mother Moses Harriet Tubman since we have been standing and running together all my life.  I pray that the many others that have called her name, depicted her, written about her, and support her being on the United States $20 bill will send in the $20 bills and more to contribute to insuring that no one will ever again be in Beaufort County, SC without knowing about the existence and the legacy of Mother Moses Harriet Tubman.   Once they learn herstory at the base of the statue, I pray that they will join us in continuing to stand and fight for the global freedom and human rights of all people!

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

Queen Quet at the Harriet Tubman Monument Model Unveiling

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) stands proudly next to the model for the Harriet Tubman Monument that will be placed at the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. http://www.HarrietTubmanMonument.com

 

Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV coverage of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Harriet Tubman Monument:

 

www.HarrietTubmanMonument.com