For over two decades, my journey has been blessed by working with and hearing from Black Excellence Award winner, Elder Emeritus Dr. Amir Jamal Toure of Dayclean Soul. Dr. Toure’s Gullah/Geechee roots stem from Hilton Head Island, SC and Savannah, GA. He is a walking encyclopedia of Black history of these two areas and the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast. He shares his unending wealth of knowledge with students at his alma mater, Savannah State University weekly via his classes and his Gullah Observances online postings. Many visitors to the area take his “Dayclean Journeys Tour” from the Savannah Visitors Center and get to get a feel for the living historic traditions and cultural heritage of our Gullah/Geechee people and how these traditions link back to the Motherland and the Caribbean.
Dr. Toure and I have traveled with the other members of the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and Assembly of Representatives members throughout our entire Gullah/Geechee Nation coast conducting libation ceremonies and providing Gullah/Geechee edu-tainment presentations. He has been part of my histo-musical presentation troupe, De Gullah Cunneckshun and taken our culture to various cities in the United States.
Dr. Toure had been doing re-enactments through a group called “The Drum” and as “Dayclean de African Spirit” for ages. He was definitely fit for the job to come on the set and be a part of bringing the ancestors back to life on screen. He worked diligently in many scenes, but in the voting scene, each time he got to the ballot box, they yelled “cut!” and he wouldn’t get to vote. I could see on his face how out and done he was by this! He took it to heart that he wanted to have his ballot counted. Although it was “acting” for a film, it mattered deeply to him and to all of us because we were doing this for our ancestors.
Daily Dr. Toure will tell you,
“It’s about the people! We do this for the people!”
So, he was one of the people that I not only wanted to celebrate Black History Month with again this year, but I wanted to dialogue with him about the theme, “African Americans and the Vote” in the midst of a United States election year. I knew he would have some powerful historic insights to share with the listeners. So, he and I took to the airwaves of Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radiofor an outstanding Black History Month show entitled, “Gullah/Geechee: Electing to Live Black History.” Before you go vote for one of the candidates on the ticket for the primary, tune een ta disya and yeddi we: