De @GullahGeechee een Nassau County: Reframing Who WEBE

Nassau County, Florida is home to American Beach, FL which was founded by Abraham Lincoln Lewis who was also a founding member of Florida’s first insurance company, The Afro-American Life Insurance Company. His great granddaughter, MaVynee “The Beach Lady” Betsch was the first Florida Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders member.

The Beach Lady and Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) supported each others’ efforts for many years. The Beach Lady was an active member of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. They walked into numerous meetings together to stand up for the environment and to present on the historical legacy of their culture and their coast. These two dancers and songstresses carried the rhythm of Sea Island waves into every space that they entered and left tracks together on American Beach.

Queen Quet, Chieftess and Representative Glenda Simmons-Jenkins of the Gullah/Geechee Nation lead the libation ceremony at Worship by the Sea at American Beach, FL.

It was on the shores of American Beach that the “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Committee of Northeast Florida” held its first, “Worship by the Sea.” Since then, numerous cultural heritage activities have been hosted by the first organization to ever exist in the state of Florida bearing the name “Gullah/Geechee.” Representative Glenda Simmons-Jenkins of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is one of the founding members of the GGCHC of NE FL. She is also a University of Minnesota CREATE Fellow. She has worked with other CREATE scholars to reframe the history of Nassau County and to that end, they produced this outstanding and indepth story map which tells of the Gullah/Geechee land legacy in Nassau County, FL: https://create.umn.edu/gullah-geechee-collaboration/

Annually, the Town of Fernandina Beach includes the history of their town and county in their Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week proclamation as they have from their first one:

which truly expounded upon the history in the proclamation by Nassau County that same year:

They’ve continued this tradition in their proclamations for 2020:

Gullah/Geechee Nation leaders have honored the ancestors in Nassau County, FL via the Middle Passage ceremony in Old Town:

They continue to honor the legacy of the Gullah/Geechee families of that land in the southern most area of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. May the work being done to reframe history in Nassau County bring out the true Gullah/Geechee Florida story. Tenk GAWD e reframin who webe!


Support the Gullah/Geechee Land & Legacy Fund at https://www.gofundme.com/f/gullahgeechee-land-legacy-fund

Tune in to hear Nassau County’s own, “Voices of Hope” performing for the “Taking a Stand for Gullah/Geechee Land! #GullahGeechee2020 Telethon!

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