Gullah/Geechee Land, Legacy, Access, and Sustainability
by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation
For almost twenty years, I have embarked upon an annual tour that started out being entitled “Save the Sea Islands.” As I look back over the years and think about the fact that two years ago, the name of the tour evolved to the “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy World Tour,” I can truly say that the mission of the “Save the Sea Islands Tour” was fulfilled on the initial level. The name change was done to embody where the focus was now needed. As I look toward the final year of the tour under this name, I also now overstand why GOD directed me from the onset to know that the name would be the same for three years only. There would still be a need to “Save the Sea Islands” once people were aware of the rich legacy and why there is a continuous need to heal and protect the land.
The “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy World Tour” continues to be quite a fulfilling journey as the other tours had been prior to its inception. Those that have attended any of the presentations over the past two years or watched the numerous broadcasts on Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) are well aware of the consistent focus of the tour to the very mission of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.gullahgeechee.net) which has been the major sponsor of the tours for nineteen years.
- advocates for the rights of all Gullah/Geechee people around the world
- promotes and participates in the preservation of Gullah/Geechee history, heritage, culture, and language.
- works toward Sea Island land re-acquisition and maintenance.
- celebrates Gullah/Geechee culture through artistic and educational means electronically and via “grassroots scholarship.”
The blessing of the journey has been the massive number of partners and supporters of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition that continue to help us successfully carry out each part of our mission.
As I engage in the work on behalf of my people, one of the consistent questions over the years has been one regarding access issues in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and in the more recent years, the questions have also been about sustainability of the Gullah/Geechee Nation which brings us full circle to “saving the Sea Islands.” The environmental encroachment due to overbuilding that has been brought into the Gullah/Geechee Nation (and is not an outgrowth of native vision nor design) is now met with the rising seas and a myriad of climate science issues that continue to negatively impact the waterways and shoreline which lead to negative impacts on the quality of life for Gullah/Geechees. It also affects the continuation of our cultural traditions and the protection of cultural heritage assets. In the face of it all, we are “resilient.” Many around the world have come to respect and appreciate that and seek to hear our voices and ourstory. Hence why the “Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy World Tour” continues as a source of engagement and enlightenment for the international community as well as those within the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
I was recently blessed to go to the campus of one of our partners, Widener University for their “International Week” in order to share some of the things that we are currently faced with in regard to “Gullah/Geechee Access & Sustainability.”
This was captured by Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV) and has been shared around the world even as folks gathered to discuss what the major countries of the world should do in order to lower their carbon footprints and to protect the environment. As they discuss and debate, we live and we fight! We stand! We sustain and tenk GAWD de Gullah/Geechee remain!
- Posted in: Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ♦ Environmental Justice ♦ Gullah/Geechee Land Ownership & Rights ♦ Gullah/Geechee Ourstory ♦ Gullah/Geechee TV Educational Links ♦ Queen Quet ♦ Uncategorized
- Tagged: climate change, climate justice, climate science, cultural heritage, culture, environment, environmental justice, environmental movement, Geechee, Gullah, Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy, Gullah/Geechee Nation, Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition, lecture, Queen Quet, Sea Islands, sea level rise