KUJICHAGULIA-Self-Determination in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

In 1999, Marquetta L. Goodwine, who is the founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.gullahgeechee.net), took the human rights violations that had taken place against Gullah/Geechee people of the coastal region of the Carolinas, Georgia, and Northeastern Florida of the United States to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Genevé, Switzerland.  With guidance from the International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM) which is an NGO with consultative status with the United Nations, her organization became aware of the human rights laws related to peoples of linguistic, ethnic, and national minorities.  With the education of international law provided to the community, Gullah/Geechee elders of the Sea Islands came together to hold a 1 year long election to form a nation in order to stand on their international right to self-determination as a means by which to insure that the Gullah/Geechee culture would continue to exist for generations to come.  Their mission was established:

“To preserve, protect, and promote our history, heritage, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance rights necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well being of each person, and economic empowerment.”

Queen Quet Enstoolment at Sullivan's Island

They set forth goals and came before the world on July 2, 2000 at Sullivan’s Islands in Charleston County, SC with the Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration.  They then confirmed the election of their first head pun de bodee of de Gullah/Geechee Nation and enstooled Marquetta L. Goodwine as “Queen Quet, Chieftess, Spokesperson, and Head of State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.”   The head was then to lead the goals in accordance with the Gullah/Geechee Nation Constitution which was ratified at this same location in July 2001.   With this ceremony, the Gullah/Geechee Nation became the living embodiment of kujichagulia-self-determination: “To create, name, and define our lives for ourselves, instead of allowing it to be done for us by others.”

Tune in to Queen Quet‘s Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio broadcast for Kwanzaa 2013 as she discusses this journey:

Gullah/Geechee Kwanzaa Celebration:

Kujichagulia een de Gullah/Geechee Nation


For materials on human rights and self-determination go to www.gullahgeechee.biz.

Human Rights and Self-Determination Books

Tune in to the Gullah/Geechee TV coverage of Queen Quet‘s speech on Gullah/Geechee human rights from the IHRAAM Chicago Conference in 2012:

Habari gani!

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    1. Queen Quet: Continuing the Gullah/Geechee Nation Human Rights Journey and Legacy | Gullah/Geechee Nation

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