Home News History Repeats Itself: African Descendants Being Ripped from their own Land
History Repeats Itself: African Descendants Being Ripped from their own Land

History Repeats Itself: African Descendants Being Ripped from their own Land

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by G. Brown

If you ever head down the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia or Florida you’re bound to run into the

CHRISTOPHER HUFF/T&D
The Geechee Gullah Ring Shouters perform Friday night at South Carolina State University’s I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium during the opening of “From Africa to Gullah II.”

islanders who speak with a vernacular so unique it’s made them famous.  These coastal lands are the home to the Gullah/ Geechee people who speak a blend of their ancestral West and Central African and English that’s also known as Sea Island Creole.  For many, it takes a bit getting used to the language before understanding it.  But you don’t have to know Geechee to understand how they’re being robbed of their lands along the Sea Coast.

Their homes are modest shacks and mobile homes in rural areas, but the land they live on is prime real estate for gentrifiers and real estate developers who want that property.

Atlanta Black Star.com interviewed a Gullah matriarch known as Queen Quet who says one of their most recent battles came against Revelry Brewing Co.  which began selling “Gullah Creme Ale” beer after the company claimed it got permission to use the name.  Queen Quet and many of the Gullah/Geechee nation knew nothing of the agreement.  Turns out a man affiliated with the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor entered the agreement with the company even though he is not Gullah/Geechee, nor apparently are most of the members of the committee.  He saw an opportunity  and seized it.  The beer company apologized after the issue hit mainstream media, but did not change the name of the product.

The Gullah/Geechee nation is used to being ignored, violated, trampled on and abused.  Even though most of the Gullah/Geechee property owners inherited the land from generations, few have deeds or wills to prove it. And many could only stand by as the land they call home is auctioned off for a few hundred dollars even though is it worth millions.

It’s heartbreaking to watch such a blatant disrespect and decimation of a culture.  But to resort developers and greedy men with visions of dollars signs, the people are less valuable than the dirt their homes sit on. While other cultures like Native Americans at least have some protection for their tribes and descendants, few seem to care about preserving or fighting for the African American culture of the Gullah/Geechee.  Their ancestors were ripped from their native lands and brought here as slaves… now, the descendants are being ripped from their lands again with political games like forcing them to pay sewage fees many can’t afford when their homes are hooked to fully functioning septic tanks. It’s injustice repeating itself for these African descendants. While greedy governments and men try to come up with sneaky, crafty laws and games to get them off their land, the Gullah/Geechee are determined to stay.  Queen Quet sums up their determination in one quote; “We da binya an ain da gwine nowhey!”

Here the Atlanta Blackstar’s amazing video on what is happening to the Gullah/Geechee.  If you want to find out more and discover how to help contact the Gullah/Geechee Corridor at  843.818.4587  (office) or  click on this link to go website at www.gullahgeecheecorridor.org where you can make a donation.

Comment(11)

  1. there should be more national attention to this matter, sure there are enough business savvy, financially affuent BLACKS that can assist in this matter. if more attention isn’t given to the matter this area will go by the wayside the same as BLACK WALL STREET, OKLAHOMA CITY. SENECA VILLAGE-now central park, the community in FLORIDA all were taken over by whites that had nothing more than financial greed and fear of the oppressed rising up

  2. This is a major opportunity for AAmerican angel investors/developers. Only the honest and ethical should apply so that the end result would benefit the Gullah people as well as the investor.

  3. Why don’t the Gullah/Geechee people work/collaborate with AAmerican ballplayers and other celebrities to develop AA/Gullah businesses, projects? The celebrities could make the investment for a percentage of the project/land while the Gullah people would then become business owners with growth potential while maintaining joint ownership of the projects/land. In addition, the celebrities could develop resort “plantations” just like the ones that reside in the Hilton Head area that they themselves would use when traveling /vacationing, etc.

  4. Where is the GO FUND ME page for this epidemic? Where are the wealthy entertainment people who should be at the forefront of this issue and doing all they can do to philanthropic work on this long range project. Where are the African American lawyers who should be stepping up to defend this community and help them save their land?

  5. Why African Americans people do ever think of owning thier business property like restaurant, grocery stores or museum or something to save the AA Galluh lands. This should have thought about it long ago. We need AA educaton and community supports to set business to passed on our AA generations.

    1. @Anna Lawson Hi Anna Bless you for not just caring…but your determination to help. Here’s some info on how to donate. Here’s a phone number and weblink to get you started. You can reach the Gullah/Geechee Corridor at 843.818.4587(office) The following web address has more information and there is a donate button– info@gullahgeecheecorridor.org We’ll add the info to the story for others like you who want to help. Thanks so much Anna…

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