Posts Tagged ‘Gullah culture’

Gullah/Geechee Nation Springs into Saturday Celebrations!

April 3, 2018

Cum jayn de Gullah/Geechee Famlee een GA and SC disya April ebee Satdee!  The Gullah/Geechee Nation will be welcoming guests from all over the world this April as they host these annual spring celebrations each Saturday:

Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 10 am to 3 pm “Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival” at the St. Helena Island Community Market

This event will be a celebration filled with food, music, and family fun.  Come out and enjoy dancing to music by DJ Kwame Sha of All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) while dining on traditional Gullah/Geechee rice dishes prepared by Gullah/Geechee Chefs Benjamin Dennis and Carolee Holmes Brown.   There will be a number of other Gullah/Geechee crafts items, books, CDs, DVDs, clothing and more on sale.   There will be traditional games for the entire family.  Cum fa jayn we fa de fuss “Gullah/Geechee Rice Fest” and yeddi bout de richness ob who de #GullahGeechee be!

Gullah/Geechee Gold Rice Festival 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018 from 11 am to 5 pm “Coastal Cultures Conference 2018”

This is the annual conference sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.” This year the conference returns to Hunting Island, SC and will be a living laboratory focused on emergency preparedness and cultural heritage continuation.  There entire event is interactive along the shoreline including engagements with the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association members.

Coastal Cultures Conference 2018

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

Saturday, April 21, 2018 “The Gathering at Geechee Kunda

This annual event at Geechee Kunda is for the entire family.  Cum jayn we!

The Gathering at Geechee Kunda

• Saturday, April 28, 2018 “Gullah Research Day

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is a member of the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank.  They will host a celebration with the Gullah/Geechee community on Johns Island to share the research outcomes that they have had.  The entire day is free and there will be food and fun for the family.

Gullah Research Day Invitation Flyer

www.GullahGeechee.net

www.GullahGeecheeNation.com

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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

 

De Gullah/Geechee Foundation of America

October 5, 2017

Many people only look to the Gullah/Geechee Nation to hear storytelling and music or to seek out a great plate of food.  However, when they arrive on the soil of the Sea Islands and Lowcountry between Jacksonville, NC and Jacksonville, FL they are now walking on the foundation of America that is held together by the blood, sweat, and tears of the Africans from Angola, Ivory Coast, Burkina-Faso, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Togo, Benin, Gabon, Congo, and Zaire as well as some from Madagascar and Mozambique.  These Africans from numerous ethnic groups became called “slaves” by the enslavers, but they retained their ethnic names amongst themselves.  Over time, all of their DNA and traditions began to flow together like the waters of the Sea Islands and this flowed into the amalgamation of their cultural expressions.  The culture that they created is now called “Gullah/Geechee.”

The knowledge base of millions of Africans was exploited in order to have lands cleared, buildings designed and built-the big houses and enslavement cabins as well as the forts along the shores of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast to name a few-and to have fields planted and harvested so that the crops became “cash” as they were sold on the international market.  The very ships that the Africans that were considered to be “cargo” where transported on as well as those that returned with the crops to other lands were insured by those in what are now the northern states including the New York and New England.  TransAtlantic Slave Trade was the economic engine that caused the colonies to continue to be built up and to be places to which others continued to come to by choice as well as by force.

The fact that Africans literally built up this cultural landscape by hand and that they were the ones that managed the areas called “plantations” and took care of the people enslaved therein as well as taking care of the enslavers, is not the story conveyed as people continue to journey to the plantations of the coast and spend millions of dollars per year to simply see the grounds and to hear the stories of what life was like.  However, the stories at these sites and those of the missionary schools and schools formed to be places in which the children that enslavers had with African women are inaccurately told in order to make them palatable and to remove the true “value” of the Africans from the storylines stated by docents and by plantation “historians,” curators, re-enactors, and storytellers.

Due to a consistent repetition of inaccuracy, many people think that all Gullah/Geechees came from Sierra Leone when only a small percentage of Gullah/Geechee ancestors came from that one country.  It is more accurate to state that a large number of Gullah/Geechee ancestors came from the Windward Coast/Rice Coast region.  Many Gullah/Geechees also have native American or indigenous American ancestry as well.

While millions of people remain unaware of the existence of Gullah/Geechee people and the Gullah/Geechee Nation, there are those that have heard these terms, but are still unclear on what they mean and visits to the aforementioned locations do not often have them depart with clarity in regard to it.  Many that have heard these terms, but are unaware of the origins of the terms “Gullah” and “Geechee” are also still concerned about whether or not to call anyone “Geechee” since for decades many people in the African American community used “Geechee” as a derogatory form against many people of African descent from the south (all of whom are were not from the coastal area that is now the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  They were simply “southern Blacks.”) that did not speak in the same manner that they did.  This was especially encountered when Gullah/Geechees ventured up north as part of and after the Great Migration.

Interestingly enough, many Gullah/Geechee words are part of American English and people do not give any credit to Africans for their contribution to English while they try to demote the Gullah language to a dialect of English when in fact it is a language unto itself which Geechee emerged from as fluent Gullah speakers tried to communicate with those that only spoke English.  To learn more about the journey that English has taken and some of the Gullah contributions to it, watch “The Adventure of English:”

“Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Awareness Month” provides us an opportunity to dispel many of the myths that continue to harm native Gullah/Geechees.  To that end, we encourage you to tune into these videos and to share them with others that are seeking to learn de trut bout who webe doung ya:

• Meaning of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Flag:

 

• Who de Gullah/Geechee Be:

• Origins of Gullah and Geechee:

Ef hunnuh wan yeddi mo bout who webe, gwine yonda fa shum pun Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) www.gullahgeechee.tv.

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

De Wata Need We! Protecting the Waters of the Gullah/Geechee Nation!

August 15, 2017

“De wata bring we and de wata gwine tek we bak” is a well known Gullah/Geechee proverb.  The waters of the Gullah/Geechee Nation are critical to the continuing of the cultural heritage of the people there.  Gullah/Geechees still literally subsist due to harvesting from the sea.  They do all that they can to live in balance with the waterways and want to keep these waterways pristine.  To that end, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association, and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition are supporting the bans on the use of plastic bags which are being put in place in numerous townships on the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast due to the numerous harms that take place with the sea creatures and the environment when plastic bags get into the oceans and estuaries.

In addition to supporting the plastic bag bands, they are supporting this petition by their partner Oceana to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):

https://act.oceana.org/page/12931/petition/1?ea.tracking.id=email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=en&utm_campaign=defense&utm_content=NAT+-+20170814+-+NOAA+Streamlining+Regs+Petition+-+ND+-+SL+Winner&ea.url.id=1007464

Please click the link and sign the petition before August 21st so that ocean protections will remain in place.

Gullah/Geechee Nation Opposes Oil Drilling and Seismic Guns

The Gullah/Geechee Nation also finds itself having to fight against oil exploration, oil drilling, and the use of seismic guns in the Atlantic Ocean once again since the US government is attempting to reopen the coast to this.  We have until August 17, 2017 for comments to be entered with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in opposition to oil exploration including the use of seismic guns and to oil drilling.  We are calling on all of our supporters worldwide to let them know that you stand with the Gullah/Geechee Nation maintaining its cultural heritage on this coast and to that end, you want the Atlantic Coast kept off of the list of locations for oil exploration and drilling to take place.  You can go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=BOEM-2017-0050-0001 to enter your comments.

Tenki Tenki ta all hunnuh wha gwine stand wid de Gullah/Geechee!  Disya time, de wata need we!

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Tune in to “Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio” to hear more about these petitions and ways to assist in protecting Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage on our coast:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/gullahgeechee/2017/08/14/reconstruction-gullahgeechee-coast-land-legacy-and-justice-environmentally

www.gullahgeechee.net

www.gullahgeecheenation.com