Category Archives: Gullah/Geechee Foodways

Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week to be Celebrated Throughout the Coast

“Gullah/Geechee Nation Appreciation Week” began in 2012 in the City of Charleston, SC.  Since then, the celebration has grown to encompass the counties and townships of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.  This year, the theme of the celebration is “Fa We Ancestas.”  The Gullah/Geechee Nation is proud that this week is part of the global activities for the “United Nations International Decade of People of African Descent.” 

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Celebrate the Gullah/Geechee Living Legacy on Historic St. Helena Island, SC at the Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival

“Fa We Ancestas” is the theme of the 2017 “Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival™.”  This festival began on historic St. Helena Island, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation in 2005 and has since traveled to numerous cities of the Gullah/Geechee Nation as well as to the Bahamas.   This year’s return to St. Helena Island will be a celebration of the rich living culture of the island and Beaufort County.

The three day celebration August 4-6, 2017 will educate the supporters through a series of cultural heritage activities.

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Jayn de Gullah/Geechee Famlee at Historic Skeeta Beach!

Many that made their way to James Island or Folly Beach did not and do not realize that there was a major gathering location adjacent to Sol Legare Island.  They tend to breeze right by on their way out to the Atlantic Ocean.  In an effort to insure that the world is well aware of the historic area that they are passing by, in 2015 the Mosquito Beach Business Association joined forces with the “Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition” (www.GullahGeechee.net) to host an annual “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day at Mosquito Beach” in order to bring awareness to the local and global community about the existence and history of “Mosquito Beach.”  Many enjoyed the inaugural event and vowed to support the continued restoration and preservation efforts of this Gullah/Geechee historic beach.  

On Saturday, July 29, 2017 beginning at Noon, the third annual “Gullah/Geechee Famlee Day at Mosquito Beach” will be held at Island Breeze 2225 Mosquito Beach Road Charleston, SC. 

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Beyond Tourism Week in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

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.

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Harriet Tubman Statue to be Erected in Beaufort, SC in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Join the Beaufort Gullah/Geechee Famlee at the “Gullah Lowcountry Dinner Theater” on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 5:30 pm. This event will feature a presentation by Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) entitled “Hallelujah Harriet: Mother Moses and de Gullah/Geechee.” The entire event is a fundraiser for the Harriet Tubman Monument which will be placed at Tabernacle Baptist Church Campus. Advance tickets are on sale. The ground breaking ceremony for the monument will take place on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 10 am and is free and open to the public.

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Travel Channel Road Trip to the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Channel Channel hosted a “Southern Road Trip” with the Potash Twins. This journey brought them through the Gullah/Geechee Nation. During the journey, they got to connect with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) at the Gullah/Geechee owned “Hannibal’s” restaurant in Charleston, SC.

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Queen Quet of the Gullah/Geechee Nation Keynotes at the International Hill Rice Symposium

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation will be the keynote speaker for the Inaugural Trinidad and Tobago International Hill Rice Symposium and Festival which is being hosted in commemoration of the bicentenary of the arrival of the Merikins to Trinidad. Following the War of 1812 between the United States of America, and Great Britain the arrival of this group of men and women, who are sometimes described as Black Loyalists, marked the beginning of rice cultivation in Trinidad. That tradition has continued unbroken through the past two centuries.

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Continuing Gullah/Geechee African Reconnections

As we traversed the roads through the valleys and then up into the mountains, I gave thanks for the strength of the women here that I saw hauling items on their backs on the dirt roads and herding the animals. They reminded me of my mother and the elder mothers of my island and all the hard labor that they had gone through while hauling babies on their backs and baskets on their heads as some of these women were also still doing. I thought about the many early mornings that I awoke and traveled fo dayclean ta de field. I could feel myself balancing my neck as I saw other women with the baskets on their heads the way I carried mine in the fields and how I still carry them on stages now around the world and bring out our continuing African traditions from them for groups of people that still want to learn how we thrived and survived.

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Toasting de Gullah/Geechee wid Moroccan Tea

Arrival in Marrakesh, Morocco was truly a long journey. Given that I flew on multiple flights and had a six hour layover in the Netherlands, the effects on my body made me appreciate all the more what my ancestors had been through on their journey by sea going in the opposite direction. Just reflecting on this took me right back to the place and space of giving thanks for the blessing of being able to go to the Motherland to represent the Gullah/Geechee Nation especially for such a historic event.

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Gullah/Geechee Nation Joins in Contacting President Obama about Banning Offshore Drilling

“There is a Gullah/Geechee proverb that says, ‘De wata bring we and de wata gwine tek we bak.’ We know that coastal resources are inextricably tied to the sustainability of Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage because we live in and from the sea.”

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