Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation, will journey to the island of Barbados with co-founder of the Gullah/Geechee Nation International Music & Movement Festival, Kwame Sha of All Mobile Productions (AMP). They have put out a global call for others of the Gullah/Geechee Diaspora and those that support the continuation of the rich cultural African heritage of the islands to join them in celebration June 21-23 on the island of Barbados.
Queen Quet will not only be welcomed to Queens Park in Bridgetown, Barbados, but also to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and to numerous communities as she travels to make the historic reconnection between the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the nation of Barbados. Not only is the history of Bajan people and Gullah/Geechees linked via the TransAtlantic Slave Trade, it is linked through the ongoing commodification of crops such as Sea Island cotton and of cultural heritage tourism. In addition, environmental sustainability of islands and the preservation of cultural heritage will be explored during this journey through historic sites, musical and linguistic interactions and culinary activities.
Accompanying Queen Quet will be the Gullah/Geechee Nation’s Minister of Information, Elder Carlie Towne of the Gullah/Geechee Angel Network, traditional craft and performing artist, Anastatia Ketchens, native of Charleston, SC, Sharon Marion, and other natives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. They will be met on the island by Audrey and Frank Peterman who are the founders of EarthWise Productions and Diverse Environmental Leaders who have served on the Gullah/Geechee Sustainability Think Tank. Audrey’s roots stem from the island of Jamaica from which Maroon Leader Mama G Gloria Simms will journey for this historic link of native islanders. Akilah Jaramogi Founder and CEO at Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project (FACRP) in Trinidad hosted Queen Quet facebook.com/facrpwhen she visited that island and will now join her on the journey to and through Barbados. These powerful women who are environmental protectors and advocates for Mother Earth and human rights will unite with the Pan Africanist community, dignitaries and leaders of Barbados to dialogue about sustainability and resilience.
Queen Quet will be welcomed to the sands of Barbados by the youth and will celebrate the evening in an interactive cultural engagement evening at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. An exhibition showing the links between Barbados and the Gullah/Geechee Nation will adorn the space as the drums sound and the songs, dances, and poetry begin. So everyone that will be a part of this historic journey is encouraged to bring your drums, tambourines, conch shells, stamping sticks, and open spirits to celebrate a journey that has been long overdue.
So says Petra Roach, Director, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.-USA: “Whilst we tend to define ourselves in terms of where we are going, knowing our past is an indispensable foundation to the future. So we are beyond excited to be welcoming our Gullah/Geechee family to our shores and look forward to strategizing on how we can leverage the relationship to the mutual benefit of both communities and further strengthen the family connection.”
According to Consul General of Barbados to Miami, Neval Greenidge: “I am impressed by the decision taken by Minister of Culture, the Honorable John King, who is not only Minister of Culture but also a cultural icon in Barbados, and who has taken a bold step to welcome the Gullah/Geechee people in his first full year of Crop Over. I personally am happy to be part of the team that has embraced this historic event and I look forward to it as a special feature in our Crop Over Festival in the future.”
Cum jayn we pun Barbados fa hail we Queen!
For more information on the Gullah/Geechee Nation, visit www.GullahGeecheeNation.com.
This article originally appeared in the Charleston Chronicle.