"Ebeebodee got a right ta de tree ob life! Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fa heal de tree."1 – Marquetta Goodwine (Queen Quet) – Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah Geechee Nation
Queen Quet is the leader of the Gullah/Geechee Nation that encompasses the sea islands and immediate coast from Jacksonville, NC to Jacksonville, FL. The Nation is populated by people of African heritage linked with indigenous Americans. Queen Quet founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition and has worked diligently to achieve national recognition of The Nation. The Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act was passed by Congress in 2006. The Nation was established officially in 2008, with Gullah the official language and Geechee referring to the peoples’ culture.
Queen Quet is a published author and lecturer, as well as a computer scientist, historian and consultant, among other things. Recognized internationally, she devotes her life to the mission of the Nation which is to preserve its culture and protect its citizens’ human rights. She has won numerous awards and recognitions for her tireless work on behalf of The Nation.
In 2012, Queen Quet launched The Gullah/Geechee S.E.A. and M.E. project through her TogetherGreen fellowship. The project uses learning labs in the natural environment from to educate citizens of the Gullah/Geechee Nation about the wildlife and habitat of the southeast coast. Using the Hunting Island Nature Center and St. Helena Island as the bases of operation, the project highlights species that are endangered, focusing on how they are affected by those who live on the coast. Interactive workshops are presented in both English and the Gullah/Geechee language.
Image from: www.togethergreen.org