June is not only Black Music Month, but the time in which numerous communities throughout the United States celebrate “Juneteenth.” Given that the Emancipation Proclamation was first read on the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast, Juneteenth was not something that emerged from Sea Island soil. In fact, the Juneteenth celebration migrated from Galveston, Texas eastward and has taken hold in numerous communities throughout the southeast and elsewhere. Charleston, SC has a Juneteenth celebration annually and it has been joined by celebrations in other communities. Gullah/Geechee folks will always bring out a drum to celebrate freedom!
In order to insure that people will have time to participate in the all the events that take place on June 19th which is the official date for Juneteenth, the Jepson Center for the Arts host “Juneteenth at the Jepson” as part of their FREE family day on the second Saturday of June from 1-4 pm. June 8, 2019 in Savannah, GA, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com), Dayclean de African Spirit, Abu Majeid Drummers, sweetgrass basket maker, Sister V, Gregory Grant, and others will present on the history of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and how on June 19, 1865 soldiers arrived in Texas to finally inform the people of African descent there that they were officially free from the bondage of slavery.
Many celebrations across the United States have lost the essence of why Juneteenth came to be due to the fact that they are only filled with BBQ and music without any details about the history of the day. Hilton Head Island, SC has taken to hosting a musical celebration at the Mitchelville Freedom Park in order to combine the two elements. This year, the celebration will feature native Gullah/Geechee songstress, Latrese Bush along with others including national recording artist, Reuben Studdard.
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) keeps de songs gwine fa de chillun een Walterboro, SC. Queen Quet will return to the summer reading program at the Colleton County Memorial Library at 10 am on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. This year, she will bring out the story of Juneteenth and more on the legacy of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s continuing freedom story via a presentation entitled “A Gullah/Geechee Journey een de Universe of Stories.” The event is FREE and everyone is encouraged to bring out the entire family.
A delegation of those still leading the way in the human rights movement of the Gullah/Geechee Nation will fly down to Barbados to celebrate the legacy of emancipation and to have a historic reconnection event there as part of this year’s “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™.” This is the first time that the official international festival of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is being hosted during Black Music Month and on the island of Barbados. It is being featured as part of “Crop Over” which started during chattel enslavement as a celebration of the harvest at the conclusion of the sugar cane season. So, the Gullah/Geechee famlee is expecting a sweet musical end to the month as they journey to emancipation sites on that island and harvest new connections with their kinfolk there.
Wheyeba freedum be, hunnuh gwine find de Gullah/Geechee! Cum celebrate wid we!