Posts Tagged ‘Harriet Tubman’

Harriet Tubman Monument Ground Breaking Ceremony in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

May 30, 2017

Harriet Tubman Ground Breaking Ceremony

Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) historic ground breaking ceremony for the Harriet Tubman Monument which will be placed at the Tabernacle Baptist Church campus in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation:

Please make sure to make your contribution here:

www.harriettubmanmonument.com

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

Honoring de Ooman Souljah een de Gullah/Geechee Nation fa Decoration Day

May 29, 2017

In honor of Memorial Day which is “Decoration Day” in the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation honors the legacy of Suzie King Taylor and Harriet Tubman who served at Camp Saxton in Port Royal on the island of Port Royal in South Carolina during the United States Civil War.

She addresses how Decoration Day began in Charleston, SC on May 1, 1865 as 10,000 Gullah/Geechees of which were 3000 children gathered at the site which is now Hampton Park to decorate the graves of Union soldiers.   On May 30, 1868, the celebration started to be done by soldiers for their fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetary.  However, few people realize that this celebration was taking place for three years already and that as the commemoration grew, it became known as “Memorial Day.”

The fact that teachers and students were part of the initial Decoration Day would no doubt have warmed the heart of Suzie King Taylor who was an educator that had attended an illegal school for people of African descent as a child and grew up to run schools for her people even during the war.  Her story as the first Black nurse in the United States Army is rarely told just as the work of Harriet Tubman as a nurse and scout during the US Civil War is rarely told.  Queen Quet share these stories and how both will now be honored and memorialized in the Gullah/Geechee Nation on this edition of “Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio.”  Tune een fa yeddi “Honoring de Ooman Souljah een de Gullah/Geechee Nation fa Decoration Day:” http://tobtr.com/s/10049725

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

Harriet Tubman Statue to be Erected in Beaufort County, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

May 8, 2017
Many people are unaware of the fact that Harriet Tubman, who is most known for her outstanding work freeing enslaved people from bondage via the Underground Railroad, stayed in Beaufort, SC during her service as a soldier and scout.  She served during the United States Civil War and was stationed at Port Royal Island.   In order to enlighten more people in the world about her presence in Beaufort County, SC former South Carolina General Assembly member, Rev. Kenneth C. Hodges made sure that the bridge over the Combahee River was renamed in honor of Harriet Tubman and now there will also be a monument erected in Beaufort at the Tabernacle Baptist Church where he pastors to her honor.
Join the Beaufort Gullah/Geechee Famlee at the “Gullah Lowcountry Dinner Theater” on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm. This event will feature a presentation by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) entitled “Hallelujah Harriet: Mother Moses and de Gullah/Geechee.” The entire event is a fundraiser for the Harriet Tubman Monument which will be placed at Tabernacle Baptist Church Campus.  Advance tickets are on sale.   The ground breaking ceremony for the monument will take place on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 10 am and is free and open to the public.
Harriet Tubman Fundraiser Dinner
For more information about the event and how to contribute to the monument, go to www.harriettubmanmonument.com,
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullah-lowcountry-dinner-theater-harriet-tubman-monument-fundraiser-tickets-34422790493.  You can also email GullGeeCo@aol.com or go by the new Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center at 1908 Boundary Street in Beaufort, SC.  Tickets are on sale at the Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center, Lybensons Gallery, and Tabernacle Baptist Church in Beaufort, SC as well as at the aforementioned link.  
 
Bring the family to this monumental celebration!
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Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) coverage of the historic ground breaking ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KO5xJeqeLI

“Underground” Gullah/Geechee Journey

February 21, 2017

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

“I know ya hafa run!  Ya hafa run run run!”

I can hear these words emitting from the ancestral soul of my grandfather each time I get reconnected to the tracks of the Underground Railroad story.

I had no idea how much these words would push me on and on over the decades of my journey

As I dig through the records and the books and what people had scribed about all it took for them to be free.

I give thanks for knowing what they went through because it keeps the freedom energy within me.

Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and WGN Underground

Over two decades ago, GOD had it that I picked up a document for the “Underground Railroad Study” while I was on a journey retracing the tracks and footprints of people like Harriet Tubman, William Still, and Mary Ellen and William Craft.   I then wrote a production called “The Underground Railroad: A Geechee Girl’s Escape” and was blessed to present it all over New York City and in various parts of South Carolina including on my home island St. Helena from which my freedom path began.

In numerous meetings for the “Underground Railroad Study,” I kept arguing the point that you can’t tell the stories from up north!  Where did the people run from?  They came from the plantations of the south!   People self-emancipated from those fields.  They didn’t wait for a Quaker or anyone else to come tap them on the shoulder.  It was within their own hearts and souls to RUN!

Ultimately, the Underground journey took me northward to DC and to Philly to tell the Underground Railroad story from the perspective of the Gullah/Geechee.  It showed that people fought and that the freedom trail did not just go north.  Many went south and some even went west.  When I finally saw the map for what became the “National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom,” I knew I’d been blessed!

All my life I had a connection to this story because the first book I ever checked out of a library as a child was Harriet Tubman’s story.   I have numerous awards for embodying her spirit and her energy.   So, there was truly no surprise for me to go from helping establish the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom to working on the Harriet Tubman Study.

What I researched about Harriet Tubman and her living in what we call “Town” would land on deaf ears of the historians that Beaufort County, SC had around.  It took decades for her name to be accepted as having been here as a soldier, scout, nurse and a business owner too.  The story truly has not fully been told about all that she came to the Sea Islands to do.  Nonetheless, we have a bridge to honor her and soon there will also be a sculpted monument too.   Mother Moses if no one else has done so, I say, “Thank you.”

I thought that with the successful progress of what is being done for Harriet Tubman now including the possibility of her being on a US bill, there was nothing left to engage in regarding this part of the freedom story.  So, I continued on with this modern day freedom fight which is quite a journey.  Along the way, I got an email saying that folks from “Underground” would like to talk to you.  I had to verify that this was the WGN TV folks and that this was actually true.  I recalled how in Season 1 they sang a Gullah/Geechee song and how I felt that our energy had reached them, but it is only when we are together that the polyrhythmic power gets strong.   I found myself recalling the moment that I got multiple tags on Facebook because Ernestine sat there singing a Gullah/Geechee spiritual in a way that made the words seem like simply a dream.  The shock of hearing music of the Gullah/Geechee Nation on one of my favorite TV shows caused me to scream!

Due to John Legend and WGN the dream of seeing the Underground story of the freedom fighters had finally come to be.   It also turned out that this spirit of freedom had continued to reach out far ahead of me and this entire set of show producers was considering coming to shoot in this land of the Gullah/Geechee.  I told them how this entire story had continued to inspire and uplift and how their arrival on our coast could be nothing short of a gift.  So, in they came with all it took to shoot Season 2 and then I got multiple emails and a call saying, “The folks of Underground are looking for you!”   So, what was there left for me to do, but put on again my running shoes and get to the set.  I thought Season 1 was fire, but Season 2 is about is hot as it can get!

As I looked out over the ancestral spirits surrounding everyone that thought that they were just cast and crew, it was hard for me to contain myself I just gotta tell you!  I got to shoutin more than one time each day!  The images are often much more than the words can say.  So, I invite those not familiar with “Underground” on WGN to watch the Season 1 Marathon on February 25th with a friend.  If you saw it last season, watch it all over again!

WGN Underground Season 1 Marathon

On March 8th, it is time to do what we who believe in freedom often have to do, we fight, we run, and we live to fight again too!  So, afta hunnuh chillun see disya, hunnuh gwine no why and wha hunnuh hafa run to.   See ef hunnuh kin catch me, cuz disya Gullah/Geechee ooman dun runnin fa freedum way ahead ob u!

Queen Quet of Gullah/Geechee and WGN Underground Cast

Queen Quet of Gullah/Geechee Consults for WGN's Underground

http://www.wgnamerica.com/series/underground

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

Remembering Harriet Tubman’s Raid on the Combahee @GullahGeechee

June 2, 2016

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

Woke up dis mawnin wid my mind, stayed pun freedum! is ringing in my soul today because that is what my spirit has been moving to since I awakened.  I rose early in order to finish my work online and proceed out to my work in the field.  I also didn’t want to miss the meeting of the Friends of Fort Fremont because this particular fort has been a space that I connected to when my family first told me that we had a fort on my home island of St. Helena.  Not long after that, I worked with someone who was then a journalist in Beaufort County, SC to bring enlightenment and awareness to this historic treasure that was beneath graffiti and vines at the island’s end.  Given that the fort had not been active in ages, destructioneers had set their eyes on the area that encompassed it and wanted to subdivide it into lots and create a planned unit development.  So, we needed to act to insure that this place and space was remembered, restored, and not demolished.  The county heard the firing off of the letters and emails and the Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands Board purchased this historic space for everyone to learn from and enjoy.

The Friends of Fort Fremont have now assembled to build an interpretive center at the location of the fort.  I listened closely to every word of its story on this historic date that tends to unfortunately go by without the history  of it being told much less having it interpreted at historic spaces and placed on kiosk for others to be aware of.  June 2nd is the date that Mama Moses Harriet Ross Tubman also known as “General Tubman” worked shoulder to shoulder with Colonel Montgomery as they led the “Combahee River Raid” just up the road a piece and along the waters that now flow under the only bridge in the world named in her honor.

I thought about the many awards that I have been presented with bearing Harriet Tubman’s name and image.  I remembered when I first uncovered the records of her living in the City of Beaufort, SC and having a laundry co-op and a bakery.  I remember when it appeared that no one else knew or took much interest in this aspect of Beaufort history, but me.  I remember being a re-enactor in the parade in Beaufort and I walked as Harriet Tubman along side two men who were there to portray Nathaniel Heyward and Gullah Statesman Robert Smalls.  We ended the parade teaching the children at Beaufort Elementary who each of these people were and their significance to our county and to the history of America.  I remember going home each of those times with songs in my soul.

3345f3491e324332d7428527f0e90d86As I continued to work with other historians around the country to get the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom established, we continued to discuss the strength and multifaceted roles of Harriet Tubman and how these have been down played and ignored.  We would no longer allow her significance to be ignored!  So, we pushed on as she would have done and finally we got the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom established and proceeded with getting her recognized nationally via the Harriet Tubman Study as well.  The study now gave us a chance to revisit all that I had uncovered before and to bring it to the table with the records of her work in Maryland and New York.

As more and more pages were amassed about this powerful woman, amongst these were the records of what took place on June 2, 1863.  On this date, Harriet Tubman became the first woman to plan and guide a significant armed raid during the United States Civil War. Harriet Tubman and the 2nd Regiment South Carolina Volunteer Infantry which was an all Black regiment that contained many native Gullah/Geechees destroyed millions of dollars worth of Confederate supplies and freed close to 800 people from bondage in the rice fields along the river which divides Beaufort and Colleton Counties today.

According to the dispatch which appeared on the front page of a Boston newspaper called, The Commonwealth on Friday, July 10, 1863:

Col. Montgomery and his gallant band of 300 black soldiers, under the guidance of a black woman, dashed into the enemy’s country, struck a bold and effective blow, destroying millions of dollars worth of commissary stores, cotton and lordly dwellings, and striking terror into the heart of rebeldom, brought off near 800 slaves and thousands of dollars worth of property, without losing a man or receiving a scratch. It was a glorious consummation. 

After they were all fairly well disposed of in the Beaufort charge, they were addressed in strains of thrilling eloquence by their gallant deliverer, to which they responded in a song. “There is a white robe for thee,” a song so appropriate and so heartfelt and cordial as to bring unbidden tears. 

The Colonel was followed by a speech from the black woman, who led the raid and under whose inspiration it was originated and conducted. For sound sense and real native eloquence, her address would do honor to any man, and it created a great sensation… 

Since the rebellion she had devoted herself to her great work of delivering the bondman, with an energy and sagacity that cannot be exceeded. Many and many times she has penetrated the enemy’s lines and discovered their situation and condition, and escaped without injury, but not without extreme hazard.

Mama Moses Harriet Tubman surveyed the area herself as she was known to do as the true scout that she was.  She was willing to lead the 150 “Negro troops” in the raid as long as Colonel Montgomery was in charge of it.  According to “Scenes in  the Life of Harriet Tubman” (p. 39.):

The Combahee strategy was formulated by Harriet Tubman as an outcome of her penetrations of the enemy lines and her belief that the Combahee River countryside was ripe for a successful invasion.  She was asked by General Hunter “if she would go with several gunboats up the Combahee River, the object of the expedition being to take up the torpedoes placed by the rebels in the river, to destroy railroads and bridges, and to cut off supplies from the rebel troops. She said she would go if Col. Montgomery was to be appointed commander of the expedition…Accordingly, Col. Montgomery was appointed to the command, and Harriet, with several men under her, the principal of whom was J. Plowden…accompanied the expedition.”

megan-africanamericanwomen-image-combahee-river-raid

The success that this united force had together turned the tide of the Civil War and allowed Harriet Tubman and the troops to return to Beaufort County, SC.  Although they never provided her an appropriate military title after this, we could easily call her “Colonel Tubman” since that was the leading role that she played in this triumphant journey up the river.   Accounts of that day even state that she also made her way to her station at my home island of St. Helena.  So, it is not surprising that the flow of the tide onto St. Helena’s shores awoke me this morning with songs of freedom in my mind just as Colonel Mama Moses Harriet Tubman sang a song of freedom upon the Combahee.  I pray that these sounds from our souls get into the hearts and the minds of others.  Not another day should sail by without the story of her outstanding role as a soldier that went to the front lines for the freedom of our people-of Gullah/Geechee people-is told!  Like the fort, Harriet Tubman’s story still stands strong and the songs of freedom flow on!

Tenki Tenki Colonel Mama Moses Harriet Ross Tubman!


Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV coverage of the celebration in honor of 150 years after the Combahee River Raid: