Marquetta “Queen Quet” Goodwine spent some time teaching the Gullah culture at the Gullah Museum for Gullah Geeche Famlee Day.
A St. Helena Island native, Quet is chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation down in Beaufort County. She is also an author, lecturer, preservationist and spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
She has traveled to different nations in the past and has advocated for Gullah/Geechee culture, history and language. Quet traveled to Georgetown on Saturday to showcase some of the Gullah culture to the young children and adults. She told the youths about some African history and how often it is skipped in history by teachers who talk more about the beginning of slavery and the end of the Civil Rights Movement, but not the history in-between.
“We lost more business due to integration. We lost more land, more culture as a result of losing that land because people are more dispersed” Quet told the children about why they skip it.
She also said that some of the people changed their language as well because people of Gullah were often looked at, specially how it was different than the “English” language. She told them how she went to New York, some people didn’t acknowledge their Gullah heritage or the lowcountry. She jokes that many people she interacted with changed and “switched up” their Gullah language when they came into the big city.
She also noted many times to people that the Gullah language is not a dialect.
“It is not a dialect,” Quet said. “It’s not being incorrect. Who needs to be corrected are those who don’t know we are bilingual and many times trilingual.”
She noted that the Gullah heritage extended from North Carolina through Florida and that
As an author, she showed the children her first children’s book Goody Goodie: A Gullah Geechee Tale with illustration by local lowcountry artist and schoolteacher Quadre Stuckey.
Stuckey has worked alongside her for over four years who said that he met her at a Gullah Geechee festival and started doing shows together.
“I’ve been doing art for almost eight years,” Stuckey said.
Stuckey’s art takes inspiration from Gullah Culture, music genres and anime. He said that he focuses on the Gullah Heritage and the lives of the people through the “everyday struggles and issues we face in trying to sustain our culture in modern day America.”
For anyone that wants to find the book or other work published by Quet, they are displayed at the Gullah Museum located in Georgetown’s Historic District on 123-6 Kings Street.