Celebrating de Gullah/Geechee Culinary Legacy fa Black History Month

Ebeebodee da nyam pun we Gullah/Geechee ting now eny? E hafa leff sum fa we!

It has been a very enriching journey ingesting the nourishment that comes to the mind when I talk with Chef BJ Benjamin Dennis or Afroculinarian Michael Twitty. I have wonderful memories of how my mind has been fed each time we have journeyed together to places to discuss the legacy of our native Gullah/Geechee culture. The mind being fed is better than the gravy that both of them can stir up in pots for sure.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and Chef BJ Dennis

As these chefs prepare to share the culinary legacy of our Gullah/Geechee ancestors in celebration of Black History Month, Brother KJ Kearney is continuing to expand the knowledge and support of Gullah/Geechee and Black owned restaurants via Tik Tok where he announced that he is bringing back the day celebrating one of the delicacies of Gullah/Geechees-Red Rice Day. I believe I have shared a plate of rice with each one of them at some point over the years, but nobody beats my mama’s red rice when it comes to my tastebuds!

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Elder Carlie Towne, KJ Kearney and Dr. Jessica Berry at the inaugural “Red Rice Day” in Charleston, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Folks last saw us all in the Hulu documentary in 2020. Even in the midst of the pandemic when we cannot safely sit across the tables together, we continue to not only cook up healthy Gullah/Geechee dishes to serve to those seeking fa nyam pun wha we nyam pun fa tru, we have also cooked up virtual ways to continue to educate people about the culinary legacy that has grown from the very soil of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and traveled around the world.

Fortunately, these brothers are part of a celebration of an institution that I looked forward to learning more about when they contacted the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition years ago requesting information about Gullah/Geechee foods and foodways. The Museum of Food and Drink and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival are presenting Migration Stories: Sustaining Gullah/Geechee Cooking Across Land and Sea, a virtual event that explores the foodways and cultural heritage of Gullah/Geechee people. This will be the first in a series between MOFAD and the Folklife Festival exploring migration, food, and the transmission of knowledge in America. Tickets can be obtained at https://www.mofad.org/events/02032021/gullahgeechee for the February 3rd event and at https://www.mofad.org/events/2021/0216/growingrice for the February 16th event entitled GROWING RICE: A Migration Story from Seed to Plate. No doubt these events will feed minds and souls and folks will leave their screens wishing that they had a plate before them to feed their bodies as well.

Tenki tenki ta MOFAD fa le dem chillun yonda yeddi bout who webe @GullahGeechee fa disya mont’ bout #BlackHistory!

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

Yeddi mo frum Chef BJ Dennis and Michael Twitty pun Gullah/Geechee TV (GGTV):

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