Celebrating Black Freedom in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Gullah/Geechee citizens stood for their human right to self-determination over two decades ago and declared their own nation on the very lands where their ancestors had not only previously been enslaved, but where they fought for their freedom through uprisings including the Stono Rebellion and the Denmark Vesey Rebellion and the US Civil War. The concepts of self-determination and self-sufficiency have been consistent in certain Gullah/Geechee families and communities. This is why Gullah/Geechee culture has been able to continue to exist in spite of all the efforts that have been and continue to be done to water down and ultimately assimilate and eliminate the cultural heritage traditions in what is now the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Gullah/Geechee traditions keepers have continued to gather to celebrate in a myriad of ways while also commemorating significant dates in ourstory. Throughout June, the Gullah/Geechee Nation will celebrate the proud musical legacy of our people by celebrating “Black Music Month.” During chattel enslavement the musical abilities of people of African descent were exploited by those attempting to enslave our ancestors until they found out that we communicated via our music. Drums were even banned at a point in time, but we continued to beat out the sounds of freedom. So, not only will we continue to celebrate our music, we will even join in with our kinfolks of the Caribbean in celebrating “Caribbean American Heritage Month” by supporting the Charleston Carifest and the music that has flowed rhythmically across the waves from one island to the next. The Gullah/Geechee Famlee will truly engage in a musical celebration at the “Roots of Soul J19 Fest” in Hanahan, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Queen Quet will open the event and Starr Queen and the Hamiltones will end it on Saturday, June 11th at Noon. Folks can get their tickets at https://rootofsoulfestival.com/.

Annually, some Gullah/Geechee gather together at the Combahee River in order to commemorate the Combahee River Raid and to honor Mother Moses Harriet Tubman for her valiant efforts leading that significant raid which turned the tide of the US Civil War so that ultimately the Union would win over the Confederacy.

This year Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) will lead the opening libation ceremony for the Black Moses Freedom Celebration on Friday, June 10, 2022 at 3 pm at the Beaufort River. Participants in the sacred ceremony will gather at the Beaufort Black Chamber of Commerce by 2:45 pm and will process to the water for the ceremony.

Queen Quet will continue the journey of freedom and healing throughout the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s coast by being a part of a series of Juneteenth events. Lowcountry Juneteenth Week will host a series of events in person and online. More details can be obtained at https://lowcountryjuneteenthweek.com/.

Friday, June 17th artist Quadré Stuckey will welcome folks to Charleston at a reception in the City Gallery from 5-7 pm.

Cum fa jayn de Gullah/Geechee Famlee een Chucktown fa hona de ancestas at Gasden’s Wharf. The International African American Museum (IAAM) is being built at the site of where tens of thousands of Africans were sold in what is now historic downtown Charleston. For the second year in a row, Gullah Juneteeth will be held in front of this historic place and the ancestors will be honored on the Charleston Harbor.

Obtain your passes and join us in this powerfilled event on Saturday, June 18th from Noon until 3 pm:

The Gullah/Geechee Famlee will journey from Gullah Juneteenth to the Juneteeth Family Festival. The gates at the Riverfront Park in North Charleston, SC will open at 3 pm and the event will continue until 10 pm. Get your passes here:

De Gullah/Geechee Famlee gwine close out Lowcountry Juneteenth with an awesome Black Music Month line up on Sunday, June 19th at de Jenkins Institute in North Charleston at 4 pm. Queen Quet will be part of the celebration there as well along with David Hollister, Shelton Richardson, Fatman Scoop, and Midnight Starr. Get your tickets here:

All of these events will be opportunities for the Gullah/Geechee and African Diasporic Famlee to gather in positive and uplifting atmospheres to celebrate the continuation of Black freedom and Black excellence. Come out and celebrate with us! E gwine be a time!

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