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Tuesday, February 07, 2006Wal-Mart black history program gives glimpse of Gullah/Geechee Nation
As part of the celebration of Black History month, on February 2nd (Thursday), we were invited to play drum at a preview of a documentary that was held at The Field Museum of Natural History that gave a glimpse into the lives of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. These are the only African Americans that have retained most of their African heritage and language. It was really nice to meet someone (Queen Quet) who was elected as a Chieftess to speak on behalf of her people. She has a beautiful voice and we purchased two of her CDs. This is one of the places on my destination to visit (the many islands of the Gullah and Geechee people). It's interesting to note, that the Gullahs from what I understand speak a language that originated in Sierra Leon, and the Geechees speak a hodgepodge of native African tongue mixed in with English. Although I didn't understand anything that was said when Queen Quet spoke Gullah, however, when she switched to speaking Geechee, much of what she said was totally understandable since it sounded like many of the people in South Louisiana.
This is a must see documentary. I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart and I don't trust their motives, but I admire the fact that they thought enough of our people to fund the making of this documentary. I never knew that the Gullah/Geechee people were considered a separate nation within the U.S.
This is clear evidence that the term African American is an umbrella phrase used to describe a diverse nation of people.
Btw: I traced my mother's family back to Sierra Leon.