Sunday, June 3, 2012

Gullah / Geechee Nation

Gullah/Geechee Nation Headquarters:
[PO Box 1109, St. Helena Island SC 29920]
[843-838-1171] []

Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition:
PO Box 1207, St. Helena Island SC 29920
[843-838-1171] []

Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews []
Gullah/Geechee Riddim Radio []

The Gullah/Geechees came together to declare themselves as a nation on July 2, 2000 with international observers and media present.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation exist from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL. 
It encompasses all of the Sea Islands and thirty to thirty-five miles inland to the St. John’s River. 
On these islands, people from numerous African ethnic groups linked with indigenous Americans and created the unique Gullah language and traditions from which later came “Geechee.”  
The Gullah/Geechee people have been considered “a nation within a nation” from the time of chattel enslavement in the United States until they officially became an internationally recognized nation on July 2, 2000.  
At the time of their declaration as a nation, they confirmed the election of their first “head pun de boddee”-head of state and official spokesperson and queen mother. 
They elected Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation (
Queen Quet is the first elected Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

Official flag of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Declaration states:
Mission -
To preserve, protect, and promote our history, culture, language, and homeland and to institute and demand official recognition of the governance (minority) rights necessary to accomplish our mission to take care of our community through collective efforts which will provide a healthy environment, care for the well beings of each person, and economic empowerment.

Goals -
As we are the authentic original Gullah/Geechee Nation with direct linkage to our ancestral legacy, we stand as custodians of Gullah/Geechee culture and protectors of our human rights. Henceforth, being the ONLY and TRUE keepers of the Gullah/ Geechee cultural legacy, upon us falls the responsibility to promote in an accurate and positive manner all aspects of Gullah/ Geechee culture by emanating knowledge and healing souls. This process is guided through the release of the full story of the foreparents of Gullah and Geechee ancestral souls and the wisdom of our elders.
WE intend to protect the development and construction of Gullah/Geechee culture through the establishment of appropriate institutions and law by the exercise of our human rights. Presently this is being achieved through and during conferences, workshops, festivals, and other celebrations of culture and the continuation of oral traditions, living history, crafts, skills, and reconnection to the soil. The establishment of this Constitution will guarantee the continuation by the exercise of our minority right to self-determination.
WE will link with organizations, other nations, and institutions that are contributing positively to the cultivation of our nation.insuring that those connections are carried out with dignity and honor.
In the tradition of our foreparents we will record in written form OURSTORY as a living testament to our Gullah/Geechee legacy. We will also broaden our continuum through the use of electronic and video and audio means of documentation. Through the exercise of our human rights, we will be the keepers of this material as we accept the responsibilities of defining ourselves and our ancestors.
WE will preserve, maintain, and reclaim ALL elements of our homeland which will FOREVER be our base of existence as we carry out these goals. With these goals in mind, Gullah/Geechee people take formal recognition of their nation and their human right to self-determination within the context of their minority governance rights, and thereby, the Gullah/Geechee Nation Wisdom Circle Council of Elders, by its hands, spirit and soul undertakes the task of creating and ratifying the first Constitution of the Gullah/Geechee Nation.

The Gullah/Geechee Nation Constitution is 21 pages long.  It is the document of governing principles by which the Wisdom Circle Council of Elders and the Assembly of Representatives operated as the right and left hands of the Head-of-State.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation is the chair of the General Management Plan for the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission.

Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( spends an afternoon with an Afro-Latin delegation and representatives of the US Department of State at the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition's "Gullah/Geechee Ga'dun." The visitors came for cultural exchange and to learn more of the aspects of African retention in the Gullah/Geechee Nation ( In this concluding part of this episode, each guests provides a greeting to the Gullah/Geechee Nation concerning what they learned from their journey and their wishes for the Gullah/Geechee Nation
Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews Ep 96 Pt 1-Afro-Latin Visitors with Queen Quet

Gullah/Geechee TV Nayshun Nyews Ep 96 Pt 2-Afro-Latin Visitors with Queen Quet

2012-06-02 "Land preservation key theme in Gullah Geechee plan" by Robert Behre

MOUNT PLEASANT — Land preservation, including new legislation that would make it easier for families to hold onto heirs property, emerged as a key theme Friday in a new Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor plan.
But it was only one element of a 272-page document that aims to perpetuate the unique culture created by slaves and their descendants.
About 100 people gathered here Friday to hear the details and suggest where the effort should go from here.
The presentation capped a project in the works for more than four years, as the National Park Service and Gullah Geechee Heritage Corridor Commissioners sought a way to preserve and promote a culture found in a coastal area as large as Maryland — one that runs from Pender County, N.C., to St. Johns County, Fla.
For Commissioner Veronica Gerald of Conway, the effort reminded her of her great-great-great-grandmother, “Bina,” who was kidnapped as a 9-year-old and became a slave on Brookgreen Plantation outside Georgetown.
“What I like about the management plan is that Bina comes to the table today,” she said. “I don’t want to be corny, but their living was not in vain.”
Commissioner J. Herman Blake, a humanities scholar in residence at the Medical University of South Carolina, said Gullah’s culture is marked by its language, emphasis on family and community, spiritual life, education, political resistance, gender equity, an entrepreneurial spirit and community-based conflict resolution.
It also is marked by longtime ties to the land, but rising coastal property values and, in some cases, a growing number of heirs will claims to property has threatened longtime Gullah communities.
Commissioner Willie Heyward, a lawyer, said while many people view land as a commodity to be bought and sold, “it is diametrically opposite as to how Gullah Geechee folks look at property. Property sustains the family, and it should not be sold.”
Heyward said a South Carolina bill would make it more difficult for an heir with less than a 25 percent interest in a property to force its sale — and it would require more public notice. He said education and mediation among multiple heirs owners also is part of the answer.
“Gullah Geechee culture is intertwined with the land, and I would hate to see what would happen in the future without the land,” he said.
Both Mount Pleasant Town Councilwoman Thomasena Stokes-Marshall and Remleys Point resident Ed Lee asked the commissioners for help with a new land dispute that threatens some residents at the foot of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
Commission Chairman Ron Daise said the commission has no federal dollars but will be looking for contributions and partners.
“Donations will be accepted, even today,” he said.
Both commissioners and audience members praised the plan, which the commission adopted. It will be posted online next month.
Commissioner Antoinette Jackson of Florida outlined the plan’s emphasis on promoting heritage tourism in the corridor, which will be marked by special highway signs.
“We have a story to tell,” she said. “You have a story to tell, and people want to hear it.”

2012-06-01 "Public sees plan to preserve sea island culture"
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Parts of a plan to preserve the culture of slave descendants along the nation?s Southeast coast have been unveiled.
The management plan for the Gullah-Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor reaching from southeastern North Carolina to just past St. Augustine, Fla., has been in the making a dozen years. It was previewed at a Friday meeting in Mount Pleasant.
The culture is based on farming and fishing with, among other things, its own creole language, history, cooking and crafts such as weaving sweetgrass baskets.
The plan envisions roads to direct people to Gullah and Geechee sites and focuses on education, preservation of sites and developing economic opportunities.
Renowned artist Jonathan Green told the corridor commission there also needs to be an emphasis on art to help preserve the culture.

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