Filmmaker Ricky Kelly has put together an outstanding new documentary, “Black Beach/White Beach.” “Black Beach/White Beach” tells the historical journey of the formation of the “Black Pearl” of the Gullah/Geechee Nation during segregation and leads you up to the on-going battle to rebuild the town and its reputation.
The “Black Pearl” is the historic Atlantic Beach Township which is north of Myrtle Beach. Although Atlantic Beach did not receive incorporation from the state of South Carolina until 1966, Gullah/Geechees owned the land on the Atlantic Ocean prior to that and started to use it as a gathering place in 1934. They opened motels, restaurants, and night clubs and by 1936 pleasure boats were anchoring at the township where Black folks could come and enjoy themselves.
The U.S. travel and tourism industry generates approximately $2.1 trillion per year. So, it is no surprise that there is actually a “Tourism Week” celebrated. In South Carolina, Gullah/Geechee culture is often highlighted at the I-95 North Visitors Center in Hardeeville, SC. However, in most cases, Gullah/Geechee culture is not highlighted, it is hijacked!
The massive amount of tourists that come to the Gullah/Geechee Nation annually believe that by driving through and taking photos and then staying in a hotel or camp ground over night, they have supported the Gullah/Geechee people. They even end up often duped into spending funds at “historic sites” and plantations that have Gullah/Geechee listed on their websites and shots of sweetgrass baskets on their brochures to only find out that there are no Gullah/Geechee people that own that site. There may be one Gullah/Geechee person or a few that work there, but beyond their salaries, there is no economic support going to the citizens of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
May is “National Bike Month” and the Gullah/Geechee Nation is joining in the celebration! Not only are the leaders of the Gullah/Geechee Nation encouraging people to participate in “National Bike to Work Week” May 15-19, 2017, they are encouraging Gullah/Geechee and Black bike riders to cycle and cruise down to the St. Helena Community Market in the Dr. Martin L. King Memorial Park on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation on Saturday, May 20 between 10 am and 3 pm for “Gullah/Geechee Bike & Beauty.”
De Conch is the official ezine of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Make sure to read, download, and share. Most of all, we look forward to seeing you here! This edition features the spring and summer events in the Gullah/Geechee Nation!
Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Dr. Amir Jamal Toure are two Gullah/Geechee Nation leaders and scholars featured in the new documentary, “Exiled from History: America’s Maroons.” The Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club will host a screening of the film with the filmmakers and both scholars on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the fall.
The “Gullah/Geechee TV & Movie Club” will begin on Thursday, March 23rd at 6 pm with Part 1 of the documentary, “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War.” Part 2 will be shown on April 27th. Both parts will be introduced by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) who appeared in and consulted for the documentary which aired on PBS when it was first released.
The story of marooned people is often only found amongst the descendants of those communities and in some manuscripts of those that have researched them for academic purposes. On the same night that WGN aired, “Underground” Season 2 which Queen Quet consulted for, DC TV premiered “Exiled from History: America’s Maroons.”
Many that come to St. Helena Island seek out two of their natives that are known around the world-Queen Quet and American Idol winner, Candice Glover. They will get a chance to see them on their screens from the comfort of their own homes shortly as these two get to proudly represent their ancestors on “Underground” which premieres on WGN on March 8th. They want everyone to RISE UP and tune in! E gwine be a time!
President Barak Obama declared five new United States National Monuments by using the Antiquities Act to “preserve critical chapters of our country’s history” and to “ensure that our national parks, monuments and public lands are fully reflective of our nation’s diverse history and culture.” One of these new national monuments is the multi-site “Reconstruction National Monument” in Beaufort County, SC. It will include the Brick Baptist Church and Darrah Hall which are both in the Penn Center National Landmark Historic District on St. Helena Island, SC as well as the site of the Emancipation Oak at Camp Saxton in Port Royal. All of these sites have major significance to the spiritual and land rights story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as well as to the on-going battle for freedom and full recognition of the contributions of people of African descent to America.
De Gullah/Geechee Angel Network
De Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition present
“Gittin Ready fa de Gullah/Geechee Family Reunion:
An Interactive Family Collections Digitization and Protection Workshop”
Saturday, March 25, 2017
10 am to 5 pm
St. Helena Branch Library
Historic St. Helena Island, SC
in the Gullah/Geechee Nation