A World Oceans Month 2020 Reflection on the Flow of Justice

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

“De wata bring we and de wata gwine tek we bak.” is a proverb from my ancestors here in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.  As I walk to the marsh of the Sea Islands or stand on the shoreline of the ocean, I hear these words resonate in my soul.   I pause and I take in not only the beauty of the ocean as the waves crash against the sand on which I stand, but I also take in 500 years of history since this is the means by which my ancestors arrived on the shores of North America and then built the United States.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) prayfully on the shore of the Sea Islands.

As I pay homage to these ancestors and begin to tune into the spiritual energy of the ocean, it always seems that the waves begin to beat in perfect syncopation with my heart which beats out a polyrhythm that we call the “Sea Islands clap.”  This percussive sound has been what sustained us over generations of being in what is now called “America” while not being treated like we were part of this place.  Our blood, sweat, and tears is within every grain of sand from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL.  The blood first spilled as folks were beaten in the pestilence houses of Sullivan’s Island, SC where over 40 % of all Africans enslaved in America came through.  This was part of a process called “seasoning” which was to prepare this “Black cargo” or “Black gold” to be auctioned in Charles Towne which is now Charleston, SC.  

As the sea levels rise on the Carolina coast, the ocean continues to push further and further inland and floods over the places and spaces on which this crime against humanity began.   The ancestral bones that lie in the Middle Passage seem as if they are moving about and as we wade in the water GOD is truly troubling the water.   However, just as much as the oceans’ droplets contain the pain from the screams of enslavement vessels, it also contains healing.  I breathe the healing in via the salt filled air.  I pause and think about those that can no longer breathe.  George Floyd and Eric Garner, the Emanuel Nine, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery cannot breathe, but as long as I and others have breath, we will say their names and their spirits will live on just as our ancestors live on through us.  

I pause again and I feel an embrace from the wind.  

I realize that at this moment in time, embraces mean so much more as we socially distance from one another.  Although, we aren’t reaching out for hugs, we are reaching out to one another for social justice.   We are screaming out in a united voice around the world and breathing in a new way of living.  There is finally a flow of justice.  I pause.  I breathe in this power.

As the power of the rising waves strike my legs, I reflect on how I expected to be in another country this year celebrating World Oceans Day.  I reflect on how I’ve stood with many environmentalists over the decades seeking justice and how that path is  now intersecting with that of racial justice and equity around the world.  

If our environment is healthy, it improves the quality of life of the people.  If people are healthy, they can sustain themselves and be in better positions to overstand the value of protecting that which we all are made of-water.  So, on Juneteenth, I did A Drum Call for JUSTICEJump Urgently Spiritually Truthfully Into Cultural Empowerment. 

Kwame Sha and Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) paying tribute to their African ancestors brought through the Middle Passage.

The more that people tune their spirits into this global moment of truth that we are in, they can come together in their cultural communities and be empowered.  This power will then strike the shorelines around the globe well beyond World Oceans Month and maybe we can all breathe it in then pause and give thanks for the water bringing us all back into balance and healing us as Mother Earth heals herself.  While she does, I pray that justice continues to flow.

Tune in here for Queen Quet’s testimony on behalf of the ocean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WhgndFLXk0&t=365s

Queen Quet at the 1st UN Ocean Action Meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlxs0aF11f0&t=15s

 

3 Comments

  1. Charlee Montclair

    An ocean poem INSPIRED by And dedicated to and for QUEEN QUET and The Gullah / Geechee Nation.

    Ocean Secrets and Promises on da Middle Passage.

    Across da globe. tidings are at lowest ebb in modern age,
    yet, the golden lunar orb is not to blame.
    We Gullah-Geechee,
    annointed sentinels, stand by our Ocean acclaim.
    Yon Middle Passage, Our Ancestral Heritage.
    Spawning a mighty industrial empire.
    Iridescent waves of Godliness cascade flowingly,
    as the Golden Isles Sands, dampens beneath our feet,
    transcending Ancestral communiques to and from our souls.
    Absorbing, yea, synthesizing every pain and suffering inflicted.
    Only, Calvary can redeem,
    It’s crimson flow of crucified reflections and promises of Redemption.

    Polyrhythmic drum calls harken ancestral communiques within the secrets of our deep ocean,
    borne on the waves of time.
    Our spirit responds to the urgent Call to action.
    Now, more than ever,
    the annointed must keep the appointment;
    at the current crest of humbled global destiny.
    De*water dat* teke* we guhn bring we to verdant valleys of reparations and autonomy ,
    within dis here lands we toiled.

    Henceforth, our Sacred Sustainable coexistence ,
    shall runnneth>over with Our Almighty’s bountiful Providence.
    Yea, within His spiritual armor,
    The Gullah-Geechee, shall fear no evil!
    For Our spirt embraces the redemptiion of the Middle Passage in Calvary’s atonemement.

    Our social and economic justice may travail petty political ebbs and minor euphoric flows,
    Hitherto, our drum calls shall syncopate with the pulses of the earth,
    to our watery rebirth.
    Reverberating “Payed in full , via the Middle Passage ”
    That gave free wealth and birth to this grandest of national empires.
    The Peace Dove and Bird of Paradise nestle in Gullah-Geechee lands.
    Ever ready to lift our spirits and communiques.
    In synchronicity with the buoyant ocean zephrs,
    that wailed at the chains, tears and blood of our ancestors.
    Peace and love
    Your humble servant

  2. Charlee Montclair

    Correction of spelling Gullah/Geechee
    An ocean poem INSPIRED by And dedicated to and for QUEEN QUET and The Gullah / Geechee Nation.

    Ocean Secrets and Promises on da Middle Passage.

    Across da globe. tidings are at lowest ebb in modern age,
    yet, the golden lunar orb is not to blame.
    We Gullah/Geechee,
    annointed sentinels, stand by our Ocean acclaim.
    Yon Middle Passage, Our Ancestral Heritage.
    Spawning a mighty industrial empire.
    Iridescent waves of Godliness cascade flowingly,
    as the Golden Isles Sands, dampens beneath our feet,
    transcending Ancestral communiques to and from our souls.
    Absorbing, yea, synthesizing every pain and suffering inflicted.
    Only, Calvary can redeem,
    It’s crimson flow of crucified reflections and promises of Redemption.

    Polyrhythmic drum calls harken ancestral communiques within the secrets of our deep ocean,
    borne on the waves of time.
    Our spirit responds to the urgent Call to action.
    Now, more than ever,
    the annointed must keep the appointment;
    at the current crest of humbled global destiny.
    De*water dat* teke* we guhn bring we to verdant valleys of reparations and autonomy ,
    within dis here lands we toiled.

    Henceforth, our Sacred Sustainable coexistence ,
    shall runnneth>over with Our Almighty’s bountiful Providence.
    Yea, within His spiritual armor,
    The Gullah/Geechee, shall fear no evil!
    For Our spirt embraces the redemptiion of the Middle Passage in Calvary’s atonemement.

    Our social and economic justice may travail petty political ebbs and minor euphoric flows,
    Hitherto, our drum calls shall syncopate with the pulses of the earth,
    to our watery rebirth.
    Reverberating “Payed in full , via the Middle Passage ”
    That gave free wealth and birth to this grandest of national empires.
    The Peace Dove and Bird of Paradise nestle in Gullah/Geechee lands.
    Ever ready to lift our spirits and communiques.
    In synchronicity with the buoyant ocean zephrs,
    that wailed at the chains, tears and blood of our ancestors.
    Peace and love
    Your humble servant

  3. Tenki tenki!

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