The Head of State for America’s only indigenous cultural group descended directly from Africans enslaved on the Sea Islands of the eastern United States will visit the Charleston Shops (www.the-charleston-shops.com) on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 6 pm.
Prior to her election as Chieftess, the native of St. Helena Island, SC, then known as Marquetta L. Goodwine, caused quite a stir in 1999 when she became the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak Gullah, her native language, at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Her speech, or “intervention,” was a plea bringing global attention to the numerous human rights violations against her people. A turning point in the national and international recognition of Gullah/Geechee culture, her election and subsequent enstoolment on July 2, 2000, brought unprecedented attention to the culture and its people as a valuable cultural and historical resource. It also triggered a National Park Service (NPS) special resource study that served as the basis for federal legislation to protect the culture’s tangible and intangible resources. The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act designated as a National Heritage Area the four-state geographic region located within the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.gullahgeecheenation.com). The legislation also established the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, a management and administrative body to which Queen Quet received an appointment from the Secretary of the Interior to serve as an expert commissioner representing her native state of South Carolina. She also chaired the General Management Plan and was the Program Manager for Initiative Impact for the corridor.
The “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Tour” is an awareness and fundraising tour which will continue through 2014. Queen Quet looks forward to fellowshipping in Spring Lake at the Jersey Shore since “whey de wata flow da whey de Gullah/Geechee gwine go.”
The Charleston Shops mission is to promote, educate and inspire appreciation for the diverse cultural and culinary heritage of our neighbors in the Southern States.