The northern most region of the Gullah/Geechee Nation has suffered a great deal of damage and loss due to Hurricane Florence and the subsequent flooding that is still on-going. The leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation have been providing disaster and storm preparedness information and will increase the workshops and trainings throughout the coast following the return of many Gullah/Geechees to their homes in the Pee Dee River, Grand Strand, and Cape Fear regions. In the meantime, they are amassing hygiene and household cleaning items, work gloves, work boots, and toiletries to make kits for those in need due to the displacements and disruptions caused by this massive storm. In order to support the recovery effort, please donate via this link which will provide support to the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network and other non-profit organizations that have mobilized to help the people affected by the storm:
Over one dozen rivers have already overflowed their banks and the waters are still rising. The City of Wilmington, NC has essentially become an island. So, the Gullah/Geechees that remain there cannot drive out to get supplies and many there stated that stores had essentially run out of items. So, the Gullah/Geechee Nation‘s leaders have been coordinating with the Black Emergency Management Association to find ways to bring supplies in via water with the assistance of the Coast Guard and others that have been doing rescues via boat and keeping us updated on what has been happening in the waters.
The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition is also collaborating with grassroots leaders in North Carolina to get volunteers and supplies into NC. They have been able to coordinate some supply air drops and they are organizing those who have carpentry and others skills to come in for the restoration when the waters receded and roads reopen as well.
Go to www.tinyurl.com/flodropoff for an up-to-date list on North Carolina triangle donation drop-off locations and hours + supplies directly requested from Eastern NC partners on the ground.
DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS-DURHAM
Main Location: Durham Fruit Company – 305 S Dillard St, Durham, NC 27701
Monday, Sept 17-Thursday Sept 20 from 10am-5pm
**Volunteers needed here to sort supplies and pick up donations and distribution sites today-Thursday. Fill out this form to sign-up or just SHOW up between the hours of 9:00am-6pm
Durham Food Co-op – 1111 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC 27701
Monday-Friday during open store hours
DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS-RALEIGH
NC A. Philip Randolph Institute – 1408 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh NC 27601
DONATION DROP-OFF LOCATIONS- CHAPEL HILL/CARRBORO
Zog’s Pool Hall – 108 Henderson St (in between Franklin and Rosemary), Chapel Hill
Steel String Brewery -106 S Greensboro St Carrboro, NC 27510
If anyone is interested in signing up to assist with the supply distribution of items that are coming in to the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition in South Carolina from Florida and coastal Carolina and will be driving to the northern part of the Gullah/Geechee Nation or you have carpentry and landscaping equipment and skills and want to help with restoration, please email GullGeeCo@aol.com.
Continue to pray for the strength, health, and healing of the families and the restoration of our coastal communities.
“De wata bring we, de wata gwine tek we bak.”
It was surreal that this proverb would keep speaking to my soul about how people need to get back to working together and paying attention to our environment on the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s coast. I kept hearing it in my mind as we watched the reports of the massive amounts of water that were being predicted would come onto Sea Island land and even inland due to Hurricane Florence. Storm surge coupled with high tide is enough, but when you add rain over days and days, no one had any idea of how high the waters would rise nor when the rivers would crest nor how much inland dams would be able to take before the water flooded land for miles.
Florence kept spinning faster and widening to show a commanding presence. Yet, for her, that wasn’t enough. The next things we knew, she was bringing other storms along with her too! I posted on Facebook” We hafa end this stormy family reunion fa tru!” Then folks that had never been in the storm wondered “What will ya’ll do?” In response, my soul sang as my ancestors did:
“I been een de storm so long!
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) journeys to Florida for the “Gullah/Geechee Save the Sea Islands Tour” and will present at the University of Florida’s Auditorium in Gainsville on September 25th at 7 pm. The event is FREE and open to the public.
Cum fa yeddi who webe @GullahGeechee!
International (World) Literacy Day has taken place annually on September 8th since 1966. Interestingly enough, I found myself reading the Paris Climate Agreement as the clock struck twelve to usher the day in. I wanted to insure that as I spoke for the “Rise for Jobs, Climate, and Justice Rally” that I covered the major points of what many countries of the world agreed to in order to emphasize what those of us that support the agreement believe. As I read, I had to take note of the fact that the rally to be held on International Literacy Day would encompass the theme of the day which is “literacy and skills development.” Both are crucial in our stand for jobs, climate, and justice.
The Atlantic Ocean has sustained the Gullah/Geechee people for hundreds of years. The African ethnic groups and indigenous Americans, who formed the Gullah/Geechee Nation, have kept their fishing and agrarian culture alive in spite of threats from coastal development, pollution and climate change.
Now the Gullah/Geechee Nation faces the existential threat of toxic chemicals being set free off the shores of their ancestral home in the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands.
In the Gullah/Geechee Nation, the continuation of cultural traditions on the land is still a major issue. The traditionalists have long since realized that without our land, we do not have a culture much less a home. So, we continue to fight to maintain land ownership, combat environmental dangers, and to continue the economic empowerment of family members upon the land.
In Nesmith, which is on the western boundary of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in South Carolina, there are miles of acres of land lined out in cotton and soybeans. Suddenly down a long dirt road, you find a vineyard in the midst of it all.
Many Gullah/Geechee heirs lost the value of their inheritance and their heirlooms over the generations because they truly were unaware of the value that lies therein. They didn’t realize that land was not a burden because you had to pay taxes for it. It is actually one of the greatest assets that one can possess. An asset greater than that our ancestors had even during their enslavement on these lands that are now the Gullah/Geechee Nation is vision.
On Saturday, September 8, 2018 from 9 am to Noon, the People’s Climate March takes its stand in South Carolina. Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice is a Global Day of Action. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, Chuck Rhodes, Virginia Sanders and others from partner organizations will be the speakers for the day! The event in Columbia is being sponsored by Organizing For Action (OFA.us) which is a partner with Sierra Club, 350.org and many other organizations. This rally throughout the nation and world is building a movement as we move toward the Global Climate Summit in San Francisco, September 12–14.
Organizers for the Climate Heritage Mobilization at the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit which will be held in San Francisco, CA September 12 to 14 realize that heritage has the power to help communities make the #ParisAgreement a reality. At the #ClimateHeritage Mobilization @ #GCAS2018, cultural heritage community leaders from around the world are uniting to the show the way. One of these leaders will be Queen Quet who has been invited to California by the governor of that state. She will be part of the Global Climate Action Summit which will bring together state and local governments, business, and citizens from around the world to showcase climate action taking place, thereby demonstrating how the tide has turned in the race against climate change and inspiring deeper national commitments in support of the Paris Agreement.