Posts Tagged ‘Queen Quet’

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

Advertisements

Queen Quet’s AFWLC Roundtable

August 22, 2017

Africa Fashion Week Lowcountry will be an opportunity for citizens and guests of historic St. Helena Island, SC to meet and engage with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation at “De Queen’s Roundtable.”  The event will be held at the Hampton House at Penn Center, Inc. on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 6 to 7:30 pm.  Admission is by donation and books, CDs, and DVDs will be on sale.

Queen Quet will present on “De Gullah/Geechee Ooman a Cut Above de Ress and Ahead ob e Time!”  She will focus on the fashions of Gullah/Geechee women and her work within the fashion industry.

Queen Quet's AFWLC Roundtable

www.gullahgeecheenation.com

 

Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week to be Celebrated Throughout the Coast

July 20, 2017
 
Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week
 
“Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” began in 2012 in the City of Charleston, SC.  Since then, the celebration has grown to encompass the counties and townships of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.  This year, the theme of the celebration is “Fa We Ancestas.”  The Gullah/Geechee Nation is proud that this week is part of the global activities for the “United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent.”  The “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day” launch celebration for the week will take place at Island Breeze on historic Mosquito Beach in Charleston, SC (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullahgeechee-famlee-day-at-mosquito-beach-2017-tickets-33510881) and thereafter, those that are interested in learning about and supporting the continuing historical legacy of the Gullah/Geechee Nation can attend:
• the ribbon cutting on Sunday, July 30th from 1 to 5 pm at the Heyward House in Bluffton, SC where enslavement cabins and big house built by Gullah/Geechee has been restored.  While in the town, people should journey over to the Garvin-Garvey House to learn about this historic Gullah/Geechee family home that continues to stand proudly along the May River.
• the “American Gullah” exhibition at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library during the entire week of celebration.  They will be able to discuss the journey of these works at an artist talk with the creator of this powerful collection, Sonja Griffin Evans on Saturday, August 5, 2017 at 2:30 pm to conclude the performances and workshops at the library as part of the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” (www.GullahGeechee.info).
•  August 1st and 2nd people are encouraged to take authentic Gullah/Geechee tours operated by natives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  For details on the tour companies that are participating, email GullGeeCo@aol.com or go to www.gullahgeechee.us.
Thursday, August 3rd is “Queen Quet Day” in Brunswick, GA!  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) request the presents of everyone at the Glynn County Council meeting wherein they will present their “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week Proclamation” as a gift on her day.
August 4-6, 2016 the entire “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” will culminate with the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” on historic St. Helena Island, SC.  The celebration begins with De Gullah Root Experience Tour (www.gullahgeechee.net) at Noon.  Those arriving that evening will be part of a welcoming “Party with a Purpose Juke Joint Jam at MJ’s Soul Food” on Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island, SC.
Saturday, August 5th from Noon to 6 pm is “Gullah/Geechee Reunion Day” at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library and the St. Helena Island Community Market.
Sunday, August 6th participants in the celebration are encouraged to worship at a spiritual center in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and then at 3 pm to gather at Hunting Island, SC for a massive drumming and ancestral tribute.
Throughout the course of the entire week, people should stop and sign in at the “Gullah/Geechee Visitors Center” in Beaufort, SC. When they shop there, they will receive Gullah/Geechee dollars that they can present to Queen Quet whenever they see her during that week.
If you want to find out more details or keep up with the week of festivities, follow www.gullahgeecheenation.com“Gullah/Geechee Nation” on Facebook and @GullahGeechee on Twitter and Instagram.  Go to this link for weekend passes for the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” events:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullahgeechee-nation-international-music-movement-festival-2017-tickets-30573330655?aff=es2
Make sure to bring drums, tambourines, and chairs to the activities!
 
Jayn we and bring de famlee!  #GullahGeechee
Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol!

Lun mo bout who webe

Queen Quet & De Gullah/Geechee Standin Strong fa We Ancestas

July 3, 2017
DSCN4450
Queen Quet has been the elected head-of-state and Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) for 17 years as of July 2, 2017.  She has been standing up for the rights of Gullah/Geechee people for over three decades.  Whenever asked about this, she will let you know that she stands due to her faith and the strength of her ancestors.  Thus, she has effectively led a number of endeavors that have led to global recognition of Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage.   The annual event that she co-founded to celebrate this rich heritage while also supporting the businesses and institutions of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” which will be held on her home island-historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation August 4-6, 2017.
ggnimmf-2017-fa-we-ancestas-jpg
When Queen Quet was enstooled on July 2, 2000, thousands of people from throughout the Sea Islands and around the world gathered at Sullivan’s Island, SC.  Sullivan’s Island is where more than 40% of all Africans enslaved in North America came through.  On that historic day of the enstoolment, drums were sounded at this island bringing in a new era of existence of people of African descent on the Sea Islands and throughout the Lowcountry.   For several years, Queen Quet and the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders continued to return for the “Gullah/Geechee Reunion” at Sullivan’s Island.  However, for the past twelve years, they have hosted “Gullah/Geechee Reunion Day” on the Saturday of the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™” no matter where the event was located for that year.  The event goes to different area of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the African Diaspora each year.
This year, the drums are being called in from around the world in celebration with Queen Quet and the citizens of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as they celebrate “Fa We Ancestas” as the theme for this year.  On Sunday, August 6, 2017, there will be a massive ancestral ceremony and drumming at the Atlantic Ocean at Hunting Island, SC to close out not only the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™,” but also “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week.”  “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” will be launched at historic Mosquito Beach just down the Intercoastal waterway from Sullivan’s Island on Saturday, July 29, 2017 at Noon.  (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/gullahgeechee-famlee-day-at-mosquito-beach-2017-tickets-33510881950)
Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day at Mosquito Beach 2017
Queen Quet is calling the entire Gullah/Geechee Famlee and all those that support keeping Gullah/Geechee traditions alive to come together and support these events.
The entire celebration of events under the theme “Fa We Ancestas” will raise funds and awareness.  Many people are unaware of how Gullah/Geechees changed the landscape of North America through their intellectual and physical abilities.  Many are also not aware of how extremely important it is for Gullah/Geechees to remained linked to their homeland.  To insure this, the “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Fund” (https://www.gofundme.com/gullahgeechee-land-legacy-fund) was launched last December and will be supported via the “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” events.   The “Gullah/Geechee Collection” for the landmark St. Helena Branch Library and De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive which is the ONLY archive in the world totally dedicated to Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, and culture will also be beneficiaries of the funds raised.  De Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive was founded due to Queen Quet’s leadership of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.gullahgeechee.net) which is celebrating its 20th year in existence.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition sponsors the Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™ along with All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™), the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network, the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Committee of Northeast Florida, and the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association.  This year, they are being joined in leading this outstanding celebration by the St. Helena Island Community Market which is where people will engage with Gullah/Geechee craft artists and featured artists of the year, “Sonja Griffin Evans” whose “American Gullah” collection will be on display at the St. Helena Branch Library for “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week.”  Ms. Evans will do an artist talk at the library during the “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™.”
As Queen Quet says,

“Ef hunnuh ain got a drum, hunnuh got time fa mek or buy one!  

Cum ta de islands een de sea and drum wid we fa we ancestas!”

 
For more information about the celebration, go to www.gullahgeechee.infowww.gullahgeecheenation.com or email GullGeeCo@aol.com.  

Jasper County Proclaims Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation

June 20, 2017

Queen Quet Receives Jasper County Gullah/Geechee Nation Proclamation

Jasper County Council in South Carolina presented Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) with a proclamation in honor of “Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week 2017.”  Jayn we fa disya July 29-August 6, 2017 een de Gullah/Geechee Nation!

 

Jasper County Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Proclamation 2017

www.gullahgeechee.info

www.gullahgeecheenation.com