Queen’s Chronicle: I AM IAAM-Groundbreaking of the International Museum of African American History

by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com)

A tear flowed down my eyes on the historic peninsula called “Charleston” or “Chucktown” that was once called “Charles Town.”

These tears were emitting from my soul for my ancestors as I explained to the mayor of this international city how things must go down.

No one in the room spoke, they all simply looked on and listened to what the ancestors had to say through me

As I told them how my feet burned every time I walked the streets of this “Holy City.”

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) speaks out about the location and design of the International African American Museum when she served as an IAAM Board Member.

After that day, making it clear that the International African American Museum needed to be placed at the spot on the harbor where during enslavement auctions our ancestors stood,

I could walk the streets of the city on the hottest day and my feet wold no longer burn. As dem churn say, “E all good.”

A tear fell again with my heart as I heard the date had been chosen to break ground.

After almost 20 years of working on this, a ceremony would happen when I wasn’t around.

I prayed and I meditated and GOD showed me where I would go and why the journey.

I realized I had to be in another part of the world because I AM IAAM and IAAM is me!

How much more could I honor our ancestral legacy

Than to live out another international journey across the sea.

While I stand “across the pond” in the UK,

I pay homage to my ancestors yet another day.

I give thanks for all that GOD called me to do with this institution that we have fought to bring into reality.

May GAWD bless IAAM! May e tell we storee honestly and truthfully!

*********

The International African American Museum (IAAM) intends to tell the story of a journey that began more than 300 years ago when enslaved Africans were first taken from West Africa to what has become the United States.  Gadsden’s Wharf was the primary point of the sale of these human beings into chattel enslavement.  However, from its inception, the steering committee members for this project wanted it to be clear that we were not opening a “slavery museum.” We also stated that this institution would celebrate our international story and will present ourstory “without compromising the truth.”

“For almost twenty years, more than one thousand individuals, corporations and foundations have been working to bring the museum into fruition,” said former mayor, Joe Riley. “The Groundbreaking Ceremony will give us an opportunity to express our deepest appreciation to the donors, volunteers, and supporters who have worked so hard to get us to this milestone.”

Inaugural IAAM Board Member, Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com), inaugural IAAM Executive Director Dr. Fleming, and City of Charleston Former Mayor Joseph P. Riley at an IAAM Board Meeting a decade ago.

Although the digging for the foundation has already begin, there will be a groundbreaking ceremony held at the IAAM site this week. In addition to the Groundbreaking Ceremony, the public is invited to an Interfaith Worship Service on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. at Mother Emanuel AME Church, 110 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401. As the family gathers to pray on the peninsula, I will stand on the land of those that brought the TransAtlantic Slave Trade into existence and will be praying for IAAM and for humanity.

I am saddened that I will not stand with a shovel in hand as I envisioned decades ago, but GOD spoke to me and showed me the numerous libations that I had poured at this site with the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s Wisdom Circle Council of Elders. At the conclusion of the vision and the recollections, I heard the directive to go and honor the ancestors there once again now that the ground is open. It was a blessing to have Elder Carlie Towne and Kwame Sha who had shouted at this space with me numerous times during the Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festivals there for this sacred ceremony with me.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) pours libation at Gadsden’s Wharf as this historic area has layers of history brought to the surface as the ground is broken for the International African American Museum (IAAM) to be built.
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Elder Carlie Towne of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders pour libation at the site of the International African American Museum (IAAM).
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) leads libation ceremony at historic Gadsden’s Wharf.

As we walked away from the site, my spirit felt light. I stopped to shout and say, “I dun dun wha GAWD tell me fa do!” Elder Towne nodded and said, “Fa tru, Queen! Fa tru!”

As we looked across from the Gadsden’s Wharf location to the site that was in the initial plan, I gave thanks for Mayor Joe Riley and Congressman James Clyburn for asking me to serve as one of the people that would help with the visioning process of the coming institution.

US Majority Whip, Congressman James E. Clyburn stands proudly with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com).

I served not only my ancestors, but the current generation and the generations to come who will be educated by not only entering the doors of IAAM, but by going out of those doors to stand with native Gullah/Geechees in the city and along our coast who will be able to share with them our ancestral and our living stories.

Queen Quet, Cbieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) has served on the steering committee, board of directors, speakers bureau, and advisory board for IAAM.
She is proudly a charter member.

As the story of the building of this institution is told, I pray that those that stood for it when the press and others were unclear on why we were doing this would realize that collectively we wanted to leave behind a legacy that tells of the strength and pride that our ancestors had. We want their story / ourstory to inspire the people that will journey to this place. We pray that they will look at the water as they enter the International African American Museum (IAAM) and reflect on the crime against humanity, but walk out of the doors looking upward with pride about the powerful African international story.

Inaugural International African American Museum (IAAM) inaugural Board of Directors.

I am looking back toward my beloved Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast and my spirit is right there as we finally reach this historic day. I shoutin fa beat de band cuz IAAM gwine stand! I AM IAAM!

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) is proud to enter the doors of the first IAAM office! She will shout into the doors of the museum in 2021!
www.IAAMuseum.org

Learn more of the history of IAAM:

https://gullahgeecheenation.com/tag/iaam/

2 Comments

  1. Kwame Sha

    It is an Honor and a Privilege to continue to shout and pour Libation with you Queen Quet. Our Ancestors are well pleased with the work done then, now, and in the future for IAAM.

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