Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea and the Story of the Gullah/Geechee

Beaufort County, SC is uniquely Gullah/Geechee!  The entire county consist primarily of Sea Islands unlike any other counties of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  It is no doubt due to this fact that Gullah/Geechee culture evolved and continues to thrive here from the soil and souls of the native Gullah/Geechees.

Interestingly enough, it was not been that long ago when people in the same county would not acknowledge Gullah/Geechee culture and schools-both missionary and public-literally issued corporal punishment to students that spoke the African language of Gullah.  Now due to the international efforts and ambassadorship of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, the county is now a place that is celebrating Gullah/Geechee culture even in these spaces that attempted to beat it out of existence.

Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea will continue to be a place to which people can journey during Gullah/Geechee Nation Volunteer Month and not only take part in the “Coastal Cultures Conference 2015” which is themed “De Wata da We: Gullah/Geechee Sustainability,” but to also see the art work of Gullah/Geechees.  This March at ArtWorks Donellia Chives will open “Ngome Collective Boutique” on Saturday, March 14, 2014 at Noon.   This is also the same location where Gullah/Geechee artist Johnnie Simmons started February with a 35 piece pyrography exhibition which will close on March 7.  Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at 2127 Boundary Street in the city of Beaufort, SC.  Go to www.beaufortcountyarts.com or call 843-379-2787 for more details.

Gullah/Geechee Artist Johnnie Simmons- Art

A short drive across two bridges from midtown Beaufort will bring visitors onto St. Helena Island which is a thriving hub of Gullah/Geechee culture.  You can take in a wonderful traditional Gullah/Geechee meal at “MJ’s Soul Food” on Sea Island Parkway and conclude the day by purchasing some of Mr. Simmons’ and other artists’ works from the walls.
MJ's Soul Food Restaurant
Just up the road from MJ’s Soul Food Restaurant is Dr. Martin Luther King Drive which will lead you to the St. Helena Branch Library where the “Gullah/Geechee Living History Series” will continue during March with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) hosting “De Gullah/Geechee Porch Talk” at Noon on Saturday, March 21st and the showing of the documentary, “The Will to Survive: The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation” on Saturday, March 28th at 1 pm.  Both events are FREE and open to the public.  The series is sponsored by the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition www.gullahgeechee.net.  Queen Quet will autograph copies of “GAWD dun Smile Pun We: Beaufort Isles” (www.gullahgeechee.biz) as well as other books and CDs at both events.
Cum fa jayn we een Beautiful Beaufort by de Sea and yeddi frum we who webe as Gullah/Geechee!
www.gullahgeecheenation.com

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