Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) built this snowman in the midst of the Sea Island Snow Storm 2018.
Well, 2018 has started off as a winter wonderland throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Folks were posting images and videos of snow in their yards and on their homes and cars as well as icicles on the trees from Florida to the Carolinas. The storm which under went bombogenesis left the Sea Islands covered in white and then continued northward where many of the members of our Gullah/Geechee Diaspora are located.
Over the past several years, the Gullah/Geechee family has watched The Weather Channel and posted on social media while in prayer for each other due to hurricanes, flooding, and winter storms. This was no different yesterday and today as we watched a storm that is being called a “bomb cyclone” make its way up the entire eastern seaboard of North America.
Before the storm left the Gullah/Geechee Nation it left behind not only snowmen, cold, ice, and many memories, but also the following heights of snowfall:
Summerville: 7.3 inches
Moncks Corner: 6.5 inches
Ridgeland: 6.0 inches
Charleston Airport: 5.3 inches
Goose Creek: 5.3 inches
Ladson: 4.8 inches
St. Helena Island, SC 4.5 inches
Hilton Head Island: 4.5 inches
Bluffton: 4.0 inches
Yemassee: 4.0 inches
The Gullah/Geechee family has become accustomed to being able to breathe a sigh of relief once hurricane season ends. We tend to relax and put away all of our emergency gear and decorate for holy days celebrations and look forward to a new year. We pray that we do not have a bitter cold winter, but we welcome the coolness that will kill off some bugs. When spring arrives, we get ready to gear up for the storm season once again. Aaah, but now the climate has changed!
Winter Storm Grayson has brought flashbacks to those of us that remember the huge snow storm of 1989 during which we made snowmen and took pictures of this novelty. It was rare to see snow on the Sea Islands. However, between then and now, my family and I have gathered a bit of the flurries and made miniature snowmen at least one time since then. Although that part is a fun activity for family and expands creativity, the trees being weighed down by ice that break are just as with the trees that break during hurricane winds are not fun. So, once again, we have to be prepared for more than snow days off from work and away from school. We have to stay ready for emergencies brought on by the impacts of the changing climate in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
The Weather Channel helped us capture why it is important to the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank and the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition to focus on educating the community about how important it is to recognize climate change and to be prepared for storms and storm related emergencies and recovery:
We believe in being proactive. Therefore, we are hosting two events that will allow Gullah/Geechee families to better prepare for and recover from storms and storm related emergencies. Both events will be held at the St. Helena Branch Library on historic St. Helena Island, SC and both require advance registration:
The Gullah/Geechee Preparing for Storms and Emergencies Workshop will be an evening workshop specifically designed for Gullah/Geechee families to assist them with recognizing various aspects of climate change and how these impact the continuation of their cultural heritage and ability to remain on their land. Participants will learn how to prepare an emergency kit and be provided with necessary mechanisms for contacts in preparation for, during, and after a storm. The event is FREE. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required at
The 6th Annual “Coastal Cultures Conference”will also focus on emergency preparedness and cultural continuation in coastal communities and is open to people from around the world. The event includes a Gullah/Geechee meal and interactive activities done by the Gullah/Geechee Fishing Association members. Take home materials will be provided to all attendees. Each year participants also engage in a field opportunity on the island. Pre-registration is required at
All this snow and cold has many people already wishing it was summer time, but before we get there, we need to prepare. So, we hope hunnuh gwine jayn we cuz de climate sho da change pun dees ya islandts ob de #GullahGeehee!