Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive Strives Not Only to Document, but Keep Culture Alive!
by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (Email: GullGeeCo@aol.com) is the premiere organization for the advocacy of the rights of Gullah/Geechees worldwide. In addition to insuring the accurate representation of Gullah/Geechee people and our heritage and culture, the Coalition seeks to insure land ownership continuation and reclamation. The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition host a number of events annually to educate the public about the unique culture of Gullah/Geechees. We also sponsor “Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio” and support a number of online resources including social media sites to connect people to resources within the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.gullahgeecheenation.com).
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition came into existence in 1996 as an outgrowth of the “Ourstory & Heritage Conference” that I was producing in different parts of the world to educate people about historic connections to the Sea Islands. When the event was held on St. Helena Island, it brought together a number of people that were environmental and civil rights activists who were also Gullah/Geechee, but who had no central organization through which to stay connected or gain support for the coastal issues that they were facing as a whole. So, I got the vision to create the “Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.”
In order to best inform others about our struggle to hold on to our land and thereby continue our traditions, led to me reading and researching more and more on the stories of the various communities that make up what is now the Gullah/Geechee Nation from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL and all the Sea Islands therein and sharing that information electronically. This resulted in a massive amount of files, books, recordings, videos, and photos. These became the basis of a living research archive called the “Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive” which is based on St. Helena Island, SC where this journey to keep my unique culture alive began.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition Center began at a location that we called “Hunnuh Home.” We provided residences for researchers, kept our first office, and the archive started to rapidly grow with thesis papers and research notes from scholars and writers from around the world that came to our facility. We started offering oral history groups and focus groups for research as well as student community engagement projects. The latter has grown to community transformational learning and community engagement learning opportunities that we partner with numerous universities to host each spring break and summer season.
Our partners and supporters have helped the archive to renovate a new building in which to house our collections and we have completed phase one of the building. We now entering phase two which is the digitizing of materials and providing archival upgrades to protect the material via acid free boxes, encapsulation, and such. We need to have two new Apple Pro computers to not only handle the workload of this, but also to have the capacity to handle the online capabilities of the facility. So, we are calling on supporters of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.gullahgeecheenation.com) to contribute to this process by donating the needed equipment and archival materials as well as hosting fundraising activities and making gift card and financial donations for needed supplies. For details on how to work with us, folks can email GullGeeCo@aol.com.
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition adds archival covers to protect books at the “Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive” which is the ONLY archive in the world totally dedicated to Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, and culture.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is a member based grassroots organization open to all people, businesses, and organizations around the world. Our members and supporters range from all walks of life and represent many ethnic groups that want to insure that Gullah/Geechee people have their story told accurately and that they have a place from which they can share that story themselves. So, we are thankful to be able to not only have the “Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive,” but to also host numerous groups and international visitors via our “Gullah Root Experience Tours” and that come to participate in our crafts, music, and language workshops and community volunteering efforts. We pray that you will volunteer to be a part of this effort to get the “Gullah/Geechee Alkebulan Archive” through Phases 2 and 3.
You can connect to the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition at GullGeeCo@aol.com or
Post Office Box 1207 St. Helena Island SC 29920.
Tenki tenki fa all hunnuh chillun wha da hep we!
Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree!
- Posted in: Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ♦ Gullah/Geechee Books ♦ Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio Education Links ♦ Gullah/Geechee TV Educational Links ♦ Queen Quet
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