After arriving to the sound of drums under the cover of night and having an outstanding welcoming dinner in Barbados, we had to rise early the next day to go to school-literally! Six schools gathered at Queen’s Park to greet our Gullah/Geechee delegation and to share presentations as well as to learn about the history of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and its connection to their island.
The gathering with the students, teachers, and representatives from the Ministry of Education, Technological, and Vocational Training was a blessed way to begin the day! The speeches and songs were impeccable!
During my presentation, I took the audience through the story of freedom and our battle to remain free and to remain connected as family.
To conclude the morning, we engaged in a Q & A with the youths. One of the questions that was critical was “What is it like to be a queen?” To which I shared some life lessons including:
“Being a Queen a lot of times people only look at the clothing and they look at the pretty pictures…, but its work and responsibility… There is a lot of falsehood now..So, yes you can call yourself a Queen, but know that if you call yourself something and GOD gives it to you, you have responsibilities back to GOD.”
and I made it clear that many people do not like seeing women as leaders especially seeing a Black woman as a leader! Nonetheless,
“If you always respond in love, trust me,
your enemies will be made your footstool.”
I pray that these words took root in the hearts and minds of the students especially the girls who will be the future leaders of not only their households, but their communities and the world.
I am thankful that I was blessed to speak to youth on the island of Barbados as I often get to do on the Sea Islands because I am a proponent of “What the children must know, YOU must teach them.” Some of the greatest lessons happen outside of the school building and the classroom in a clear open and honest dialogue. That is the way we learned from our elders in the Gullah/Geechee Nation and it is something that folks need to go back to. Turn off the phones, tablets, and computers (after reading this) and take some time to educate the children. The seeds you plant today will bear fruit in the future. Let’s plant seeds of freedom all over the world as we did on the island of Barbados.