)Date: Wed, 6 Aug 1997 12:40:07 -0400 (EDT)
Gullah Heritage Excursion/Sea Island Coalition Press Release
The Gullah/Geechee Coalition, 6 August 1997
I wanted to make you all aware of what was going on with the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition that I founded last year. If you all can help out with donations of papers, books, or tapes about Gullah culture and/or the Sea Islands, it would be greatly appreciated. We also need to raise funds. Here are the details on the next fundraiser.
A direct link to the continent of Africa exist in the Sea Islands of the United States. In the islands that are a part of South Carolina, Georgia, and North Florida, Gullah and Geechee culture began during the enslavement of African people in America. It is directly related to the African traditional cultures of the people of Windward or Rice Coast of West Africa. Due to isolation on islands off the coast, the African people there did not have too much contact with people of other races except Native Americans. Thus, they were able to maintain their culture, language, and traditions unlike African people that were living on the "mainland." Gullah and Geechee Sea Islanders transformed these traditions into a new and distinct African American culture.
Due to the peaked interest in the Sea Islands and the Gullah and Geechee cultures from which her family's roots in America stem, Marquetta L. Goodwine is an author and historian on the Gullah culture. She originated the annual Gullah Excursionx to Beaufort, South Carolina, home of the Gullah and Geechee people and cultures. Ms. Goodwine has been taking small groups to Beaufort (from which her roots stem) since 1986. She has since expanded her mission on making sure that the history of Gullahs and Geechees is preserved and told accurately. She has put together conferences that have gone as far as Nova Scotia, Canada that focus on the development of Sea Island heritage. In 1996 she formed the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition which serves as a central location of support for survival efforts of the various Gullah and Geechee communities on the Sea Islands of Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.
Goodwine, who is a 1997 recipient of the "Harriet Tubman Women of Distinction Award," continues to do tours, lectures, performance pieces, and workshops about the Gullah culture. Through these activities she is promoting the support of the "Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition." This organization promotes and participates in the preservation of Gullah and Geechee history, heritage, culture, and language. This includes land reacquisition and maintenance. It also include the celebration of the culture through artistic means and education on the culture as well as electronically and via "grassroots scholarship."
These Gullah Heritage Excursionx with the theme "Ancestral Dance" will take place November 6-9, 1997. The tour will be of the islands of Beaufort and Charleston Counties in South Carolina. These are South Carolina's premiere Gullah regions where the culture still thrives. The participants will be able to take part in the Heritage Days Celebration along with native islanders.
The Gullah Heritage Excursionx is a fundraiser for the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. The Coalition is in the process of building an archive and setting up a regional location. The tour will enlighten people on the history of the Sea Islands and will show them the struggle that is taking place in order to keep the culture alive.
Details on the tours and activities for 1997 and on supporting the "Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition" are available through the Afrikan Kultural Arts Networkx(AKANx). For more information, please call (212) 439-1026 or write Post Office Box 40-0199 Brooklyn NY 11240-0199. Those that are on the Internet can send for details by sending e-mail to GullGeeCo@aol.com.
Check out the Afrikan Kultural Arts Network website:
or send for membership details