Although Hurricane Florence has long left the Gullah/Geechee Nation, the remnants of the massive down pours of rain and storm water still remain. Rivers are still rising through the Carolinas. Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation (www.QueenQuet.com) and Founder of the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition (www.GullahGeechee.net) and the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and Representatives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation have been coordinating emergency management and recovery efforts in collaboration with the Black Emergency Management Association (BEMA).
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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 …
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!
All this snow and cold has many people already wishing it was summer time, but before we get there, we need to prepare. So, we hope hunnuh gwine jayn we cuz de climate sho da change pun dees ya islandts ob de #GullahGeehee!
Having been one of the people that helped write the Pocantico Call to Action on Climate Change and Cultural Heritage, my focus has been on how sea level rise and other outcomes of climate change impact the sustainability of cultural heritage. So, I am under no illusion about the required continued diligence of natives of the coasts to stand up and speak out about protecting the cultural heritage of our coasts.
De Gullah/Geechee binya pun de Sea Islands and ain da gwine nowhey ebun win de oda ress crak e teet bout retreat!
Middle Passage Month was tumultuous not only in the Gullah/Geechee Nation, but throughout the many island nations that are part of the African Diaspora due to the major hurricanes and tropical storms that brought winds and rains the likes of which this generation has never seen. As I watched them on the screen, I felt like our ancestors had endured the same things as the billows rolled against the enslavement vessels tossed around at sea on their months long journeys.