Posts Tagged ‘history’

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

Advertisements

Port Royal Proclaims Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week 2017

August 12, 2017

Queen Quet and Mayor Samuel Murray at Port Royal, SC

Mayor Samuel Murray and the town council of the Town of Port Royal presented Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) with a proclamation for “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week 2017” during their town hall meeting.  Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) coverage of the event:

 

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

Celebrate Gullah/Geechee Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency on St. Helena Island

March 26, 2017
Celebrate Gullah/Geechee Sustainability and Self-Sufficiency at the St. Helena Island Community Market’s 
Tunis Campbell Day
St. Helena Community Market Tunis Campbell Day
The St. Helena Island Community Market will open its second month of activities for 2017 with “Tunis Campbell Day” and a seed swap on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 am to 3 pm at the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Park on historic St. Helena Island, SC.  The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is proud to collaborate with the market on this celebration of Gullah/Geechee sustainability and self-sufficiency in honor of Freedman’s Bureau Commissioner Tunis Campbell who assisted with land redistribution on the Sea Islands.  Given that Beaufort County is now the location of the new multi-site US Reconstruction Era National Monument, the St. Helena Island Community Market participants seek to provide more information to the attendees regarding this aspect of history.   To that end, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) will do a presentation regarding Tunis Campbell at “Tunis Campbell Day.”
 
Queen Quet will also celebrate the anniversary of her first visit to the United Nations to speak to the Human Rights Commission on behalf of Gullah/Geechee people at the “Tunis Campbell Day.”  That historic event took place on April 1, 1999.  Queen Quet has dedicated her life to protecting Gullah/Geechee land rights and the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture.  Her life has many parallels to that of Tunis Campbell.  She also served as a federal commissioner and encountered many of the obstacles to land rights protection that Tunis Campbell did.   Being a native of St. Helena Island caused Queen Quet to know what Sea Island self-sufficiency is first hand and she is proud to be a part of the St. Helena Island Community Market which continues to support self-sufficiency and sustainability.
Queen Quet will do a book, CD, and DVD signing and there will be a number of other crafts and musical artists and entrepreneurs taking part in the St. Helena Island Community Market which takes place on the 1st and 3rd Saturday each month.  For those that are interested in more information about the market, please email info@StHelenaIslandCommunityMarket.com or go to www.StHelenaIslandCommunityMarket.com or email GullGeeCo@aol.com.
 
Cum jayn we fa celebrate Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Self-Sufficiency!

Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club Launches with “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War”

March 22, 2017

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition will continue its “Gullah/Geechee Living History” series with a series of movies at the St. Helena Branch Library on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  The entire community is invited to come out to be a part of the new “Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club.”   Each showing will involve dialogues and links to additional educational resources for each film or TV broadcast.

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War

The “Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club” will begin on Saturday, May 20th with Part 1 of the documentary, “Reconstruction: The Second Civil Warwhich will be introduced by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) who appeared in and consulted for the documentary which aired on PBS when it was first released.

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War

Given that Beaufort County is now part of the new multi-site “Reconstruction Era National Monument,” this film showing will be a wonderful continuation of the celebration of this historic designation!

For more information email GullGeeCo@aol.com.

Come celebrate the Gullah/Geechee historical legacy at the

“Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club!”  

Hunnuh gwine yeddi plenee bout webe!

Queen Quet Presents “Gullah/Geechee: Africa’s Seed in the Winds of the Diaspora”

January 18, 2017

 

img_8750

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) is an award winning author.  She has released five volumes of a thirty volume history series entitled “Gullah/Geechee: Africa’s Seed in the Winds of the Diaspora.”  She will present from this series for “Books Sandwiched In” at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort Center for the Arts on Monday, February 6, 2017 at from Noon to 1 pm.  The histo-musical presentation will be followed by a book signing.  The event which is sponsored by the Friends of Beaufort County Library is FREE and open to all.  Cum fa yeddi bout who webe een de nayshun ob de Gullah/Geechee!

bsi-flier-with-books-and-authors-and-presenters-2

www.gullahgeecheenation.com