Posts Tagged ‘St. Helena Branch Library’

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

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

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

Realities of Reconstruction Conference


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


Gullahs of Achievement: A Celebration of Black History

February 3, 2018
The landmark St. Helena Branch Library will host its annual free Black History Month celebration on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 6 pm.  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition will provide the keynote address for the program themed “Gullahs of Achievement.”  Queen Quet will focus on the legacy of Gullah/Geechee native Robert S. Abbott who founded “The Defender” newspaper and how his publication altered the history of tens of thousands of people of African descent during the era that is now referred to as “The Great Migration.”
Gullahs of Achievement
Queen Quet was chosen to provide the keynote address not only due to her on-going support of the “Gullah/Geechee Living History Series” that goes on annually at the St. Helena Branch Library, but also due to the fact that she is one of two St. Helena Island natives to ever be presented with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History‘s “Living Legacy Award.”   ASALH is the organization that was founded by the father of Black History Month, Dr. Carter G. Woodson.  So, receiving an honor as a living legacy is a true accolade and a testimony to Queen Quet’s commitment to Black history and cultural heritage.  She continues to live up to this honor by making sure to share the history that she loves at numerous venues annually for Black History Month.  So, she invites and encourages you to bring out the family to celebrate Gullahs of Achievement.
For more information, email or call (843)255-6486.

Webe Gullah/Geechee Anointed Peepol!

Lun mo bout who webe

January 4, 2018
Queen Quet's Gullah/Geechee Snowman

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( built this snowman in the midst of the Sea Island Snow Storm 2018.

Well, 2018 has started off as a winter wonderland throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  Folks were posting images and videos of snow in their yards and on their homes and cars as well as icicles on the trees from Florida to the Carolinas.   The storm which under went bombogenesis left the Sea Islands covered in white and then continued northward where many of the members of our Gullah/Geechee Diaspora are located.

Over the past several years, the Gullah/Geechee family has watched The Weather Channel and posted on social media while in prayer for each other due to hurricanes, flooding, and winter storms.   This was no different yesterday and today as we watched a storm that is being called a “bomb cyclone” make its way up the entire eastern seaboard of North America.

Before the storm left the Gullah/Geechee Nation it left behind not only snowmen, cold, ice, and many memories, but also the following heights of snowfall:

  • Summerville: 7.3 inches
  • Moncks Corner: 6.5 inches
  • Ridgeland: 6.0 inches
  • Charleston Airport: 5.3 inches
  • Goose Creek: 5.3 inches
  • Ladson: 4.8 inches
  • St. Helena Island, SC 4.5 inches
  • Hilton Head Island: 4.5 inches
  • Bluffton: 4.0 inches
  • Yemassee: 4.0 inches
Winter Storm Grayson has brought flashbacks to those of us that remember the huge snow storm of 1989 during which we made snowmen and took pictures of this novelty.  It was rare to see snow on the Sea Islands.  However, between then and now, my family and I have gathered a bit of the flurries and made miniature snowmen at least one time since then.   Although that part is a fun activity for family and expands creativity, the trees being weighed down by ice that break are just as with the trees that break during hurricane winds are not fun.  So, once again, we have to be prepared for more than snow days off from work and away from school.  We have to stay ready for emergencies brought on by the impacts of the changing climate in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
The Weather Channel helped us capture why it is important to the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to focus on educating the community about how important it is to recognize climate change and to be prepared for storms and storm related emergencies and recovery:

A Vanishing Culture, A Vanishing Land from Weather Films on Vimeo.
We believe in being proactive.  Therefore, we are hosting two events that will allow Gullah/Geechee families to better prepare for and recover from storms and storm related emergencies.  Both events will be held at the St. Helena Branch Library on historic St. Helena Island, SC and both require advance registration:

Gullah/Geechee Preparing for Storms and Emergencies Workshop

The Gullah/Geechee Preparing for Storms and Emergencies Workshop will be an evening workshop specifically designed for Gullah/Geechee families to assist them with recognizing various aspects of climate change and how these impact the continuation of their cultural heritage and ability to remain on their land.   Participants will learn how to prepare an emergency kit and be provided with necessary mechanisms for contacts in preparation for, during, and after a storm.  The event is FREE.  Space is limited.  Pre-registration is required at

Coastal Cultures Conference 2018-Emergency Preparedness and Cultural Continuation in Coastal Communities

Coastal Cultures Conference 2018
The 6th Annual “Coastal Cultures Conference” will also focus on emergency preparedness and cultural continuation in coastal communities and is open to people from around the world.   The event includes a Gullah/Geechee meal and interactive activities done by the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association members.   Take home materials will be provided to all attendees.  Each year participants also engage in a field opportunity on the island.   Pre-registration is required at
All this snow and cold has many people already wishing it was summer time, but before we get there, we need to prepare.  So, we hope hunnuh gwine jayn we cuz de climate sho da change pun dees ya islandts ob de #GullahGeehee!


by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (

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 ( 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™” (
•  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 or go to
Thursday, August 3rd is “Queen Quet Day” in Brunswick, GA!  Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( 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 ( 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“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:
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


Black Music Month on Historic St. Helena Island Launches with the Sea Island Sounds Celebration

May 25, 2017
Sea Island Sounds at St. Helena Market
June is “Black Music Month.”  This annual celebration in the Gullah/Geechee Nation will begin at the St. Helena Island Community Market with the “Sea Island Sounds Celebration” on Saturday, June 3, 2017 featuring songstresses, Mahoganee and GwenYvette.  Both of these dynamic singers will be releasing new songs and the audience at the celebration will be the first to hear them at the Dr. Martin Luther King Park on historic St. Helena Island on that day.  The event begins at 10 am and ends at 3 pm.
Due to the fact that the “Sea Island Sounds Celebration” will take place at the same time that Gullah/Geechees Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nationcommemorate the Combahee River Raid that was led by Harriet Tubman, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation will also do a Spirituals presentation to honor Mother Moses and the creation of these songs on the Sea Islands.  The Spirituals are the official music of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the state of South Carolina.
DJ Kwame Sha of All Mobile Productions
Throughout the celebration DJ Kwame Sha of All Mobile Productions™ (AMP™) will also spin a variety of music by Gullah/Geechee artists that people may not be aware were natives of the area.  There will be an exhibition curated from De Gullah/Geechee Alkbulan Archive about these artists that will also be on display at the landmark St. Helena Branch Library throughout the month.  Many may want to view it when the new “Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club” showings take place there on Saturday, June 24th.  The Noon film will be “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” which highlights Gullah/Geechee Hall of Famer, James Jamison of the “Funk Brothers” and the 2:30 pm film will be “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War” which Queen Quet appeared in and sang for.
The Sea Island Sounds Celebration and the “Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club” showings in celebration of Black Music Month are all FREE and open to the public.  CDs, books, DVDs, craft items, and Gullah/Geechee food will be on sale at the Sea Island Sounds Celebration.  
For more information, email, go to or follow @GullahGeechee on Twitter and Instagram.
Advance passes can be obtained from:

The advance passes will be used for prize drawings during the events.

Bring chairs and put on your dancing shoes for this celebration of
Black music!