@GullahGeechee Battling Exploitation and Seeking Economic Equity
Within less than one month, native Gullah/Geechees have come together much in the way that they did 21 years ago when they stood together to stand on their human right to self-determination. The recent wave of Gullah/Geechee unity managed to get four different white / Anglo owned companies to rebrand their products and no longer use the words “Gullah,” “Geechee” or “Geechie” to culturally and economically exploit the Gullah/Geechee people and their name.
As these victories rolled in after many supporters came together to sign a petition against mascotification in the Gullah/Geechee Nation, supporters began a movement to end the use of the word “plantation” on gated areas and resorts. The gated area of Wexford on Hilton Head Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation painted over the word on the sign at their entrance. The other gated areas are seeking to vote on this matter as signatures continue to accrue on this petition: https://www.change.org/p/beaufort-county-s-gated-communities-should-not-be-called-plantations . A similar call to remove “plantation” from the names of subdivisions is also gathering steam: https://www.change.org/p/charleston-berkeley-dorchester-take-a-stand-remove-or-replace-the-word-plantation-in-our-subdivision-names?recruiter=400334292&recruited_by_id=18daaae0-6dff-11e5-80f0-258229bc4cc5&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink&utm_campaign=petition_dashboard .
Gullah/Geechee people are acutely aware of what the continued use of the word “plantation” means in the south. Their ancestors came to North America due to the economic exploitation and physical violation of African bodies. Their ancestors were sold as commodities. Queen Quet eloquently pointed this out on her recent Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio broadcast https://www.blogtalkradio.com/gullahgeechee/2020/07/06/demandtherebrand-ending-gullahgeechee-exploitation. She examined how the use of Gullah/Geechee people’s names and the abuses that they take working in gated areas called “plantations” is not new, but in fact is a continuum of the exploitation of Black people and Gullah/Geechee for the economic gain by primarily Anglo / white people. She also made it clear that these abuses that the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s leaders have called out for decades needed to end immediately. Now is the time!
As the continued call for racial justice resounds in North America, the Gullah/Geechee continue to fight for racial and economic equity. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Dr. Najmah Thomas(www.NajmahThomas.com) of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank held an intellectually stimulating dialogue about these matters on “Zooming in on Sustainability.” Dr. Thomas stated “At first they ignore you, then they fight you, and then you win!” Tenk GAWD de Gullah/Geechee dun win and gwine win ‘gain!
In order to support the Gullah/Geechee economically, support the websites and businesses listed here: https://gullahgeecheenation.com/2020/07/01/20-ways-een-20-days-fa-support-de-gullahgeechee/.
Also, support the #GullahGeechee2020 Telethon:
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- Tagged: cultural heritage, economic empowerment, equity, exploitation, gated areas, Geechee, Gullah, gullah geechee nation, Hilton Head, justice, Najmah Thomas, petition, plantations, protest, Queen Quet, Sea Islands