The Anthropocene tells the story of compounding injustice, towards people and planet. It tells the story of growth for growth’s sake, living beyond boundaries sacredly assigned to us by our Mother. This week we are honored to be in dialogue with Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation, who is striving for justice on the front lines of the most pressing Anthropocentric intersections: climate change, resource extraction, corrupt and negligent government bodies, land theft, encroaching development and exploitative tourism.
Taking on Indigenous sovereignty, land rights, and climate change resiliency plans, Queen Quet is a warrior of justice for not only her peoples, but all of humanity.
The Gullah/Geechee are descendants of the first enslaved Central and West Africans who remained isolated along the inland, coastal area, and Sea Islands between present-day Jacksonville, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida. After the Civil War, these peoples were the first group of African descendants to own land in mass in the United States, allowing them to preserve their African cultural traditions and Indigenous practices. By obtaining land and being able to pass it down to their descendants, the Gullah/Geechee were able to continue their centuries-long relationship with the land. In 2000, they were internationally recognized as a nation.
Hilton Head, a revered golfing and vacation paradise for the wealthy receives almost 2 million incoming tourists annually to visit the over 25 golf courses or "plantations." Each posted up on stolen land of the Gullah/Geechee heritage and funeral sites. The rampant development of this land is just one of the many attacks on these people and their land.
Queen Quet and the Gullah/Geechee nation are an exemplary vision of resilience in an age of deterioration, holding on to spirit and hope amidst. Facing the onslaught of colonial terrorism towards both Black and Indigenous lives, Queen Quet's vision is lighting the way forward in troubled times.
Queen Quet, Marquetta L. Goodwine is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.” Queen Quet was selected, elected, and enstooled by her people to be the first Queen Mother, “head pun de bodee,” and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. As a result, she is respectfully referred to as “Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.” She is the founder of the premier advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. Queen Quet has won countless awards for being a woman of distinction, for her scholarship, writings, artistic presentation, activism, cultural continuation and environmental preservation. She was the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland and at the United Nations COP 22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Music by The Gullah Singers, Live recordings from GullahGeechee TV Nayshun Nyews with Queen Quet & The GullahGeechee Nation International Music Movement Festival.