The Ones We've Been Waiting For: Gullah Geechee Womxn, Epigenetics, and Time-Travel

Afrofuturism seemed capable of honoring not only our brokenness, but also a reality in which we are healed. I was pleasantly surprised to find how closely Afrofuturism and womanism align as paths to liberation and safety for Black womxn and femmes. Both ideologies are deeply rooted in Africana tradition and our affinity to speak ourselves whole.

Another unexpected revelation was the connection between Gullah Geechee culture and Afrofuturism. 

Legacies of Resistance: A Literature Review

Freed women understood that their value had previously rested on their ability to reproduce, and the outwardly assigned identity as wanton, subhuman workers, always available for the sexual desires of others. Emancipation brought new labels and terminology to the landscape, but the racial dynamics that positioned Black women on the bottom tier remained, morphed, intensified. Common themes persisted throughout the transition to freedom and despite a concerted effort to keep black women fearful and compliant.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Cheveze Daniel

I’m an all-natural hair stylist. I service all African textured hair & hairstyles–no chemicals or heat. I’m ultimately a visual artist. I draw/paint original artwork on canvas. I mostly use acrylic paint but I’m slowly going back into graphite. I’ve learned that I shade better using graphite mediums. I take photos; I’m a canon shooter. I’m also a wire wrapping jewelry-maker. I create unique pieces using brass, crystals and seashells from Folly Beach and Isle of Palms. I started wire wrapping once I began learning more about the city of Charleston and how sacred this land is to the melanated people. It shocked me that I’m from only two hours up the interstate, yet was never exposed to all of the history here. I started making the jewelry because I wanted to acknowledge all that I’d learned and share that acknowledgement with others. I create this jewelry to honor all of my ancestors across the shores of South Carolina. I added crystals once I became aware that all minerals have their own beneficial properties.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Deronda C. Washington

My passion continues to lie with women and children. I love empowering them to be the best THEM they can be. Because my husband and I recently experienced fertility issues, I want to be a voice for African American women dealing with infertility. There are few resources available to help African American women get through this–especially with the culture we are in.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Shaniqua Davenport Coaxum

I am a licensed cosmetologist and owner of Naturelle Beaute’ by Shaniqua in Charlotte, NC. I believe that I’ve been called to counsel and educate, and I do this whenever I stand behind my chair. I am also a wife and an expectant mother!

Geechee Gals Gettin It - Vol. 1: Tamika Middleton

I am an organizer to my core, through and through. I know my purpose is tied into that, because no matter how often I try to step away, I find myself doing it, instinctually. I know I’ve been called to be a healer–specifically in the Gullah Geechee tradition. My ancestors told me this in a dream. So we’ll see where that leads me.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Kyndra Joi

Once you understand the history of our Gullah Geechee ancestors, their intuition, their genius to adapt, cultivate and thrive, a sense of pride swells within you. To have an identity, language and culture so unique and so similar to our Afrikan brothers and sisters, it just fills my spirit. When I went to Senegal, Ghana and Cote de voire and ate the same meals that my famlee eats on a daily basis, it just blew my mind. I am a direct descendant of the coast of West Afrika. I am a Gullah Warrior Woman. I am proud to speak my language, tell our story and pass on traditions so our ancestors nor our Gullah Geechee culture will never be forgotten. I am because They are!

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Erica Alcox

Traditions are meant to form a foundation for us to build the future, not to keep us stuck. We can respect our roots while we continue to grow the rest of the fruit. It’s our job to continue to educate our children about who we are and to celebrate this heritage in our daily lives. Never be ashamed of our story. This is why I created Geechie Gurl. I didn’t feel like the popular Carolina brands represented me, so I built something that did. Continue to tell our story and honor that story in our daily lives. I tell stories through my blog about today’s events but I also infuse my Lowcountry upbringing in how I say what I say and do what I do.“It’s not just an accent…it’s an ATTITUDE!” That’s my favorite t-shirt in my product line.

 

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Grace T. Walker-Harrison

I’ve been exposed to so many things in just a short period of time, it’s hard to narrow my passions down to one or two. So far I absolutely love African Dance and everything that comes under that umbrella. My body automatically responds to the music without a thought. I’m passionate about Gullah Geechee culture. Learning my history is amazing and it constantly leaves me in awe.

I am a mother of two active teenage girls, a wife, a full-time employee, an African dancer,business owner, and I assist with Gullah Geechee Angel Network events. Organization and balance is key for me. There are times when I may take a day or weekend to do absolutely nothing.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Khetnu Nefer

Being Gullah Geechee to me means being proud to be a descendant of a treasured heritage that encompasses more than the middle passage. Our Gullah Geechee ancestors set the precedence and survived despite the odds. Being Gullah Geechee means being the benefactor of a rich and unique living culture that needs to be recognized for its numerous contributions. I call myself the Geechee Goddess in honor of the wonderful strong and intelligent Gullah Geechee women who came before me and shaped and molded my existence.

Geechee Gals Gettin' It - Vol. 1: Jocelyn Holmes

I was blessed with a gift to cut people’s hair. I’ve been a Master Barber for 9 years, and I enjoy every minute of it. It’s such a great feeling being able to enhance one’s natural beauty with a simple haircut. My culture certainly influences my barber career. Every style is a revolving cycle of what was worn before my time. Many of the styles have some type of symbolic meaning behind them.

Personal Reflections and Issa Rae’s “Insecure” from a Forever Awkward, Formerly Insecure Black Girl

It is only fitting that I viewed Insecure, Issa’s bomb ass, sweat and tear filled, hard fought for, well-damn-deserved HBO Glo Up as this New Sara I am now. I like this Sara the most. So bear with me: these reflections are coming after watching all of season 1 twice. Once by myself, and a second time with my boyfriend. I was a bit surprised to read the reviews and responses shared on my various social media timelines. I see a lot of #TeamIssa or #TeamLawrence. A lot of familiar hurts and bruised egos and triggers.** Throughout the season I remained on #TeamDamnWeReallyAreBrokenAF, #TeamWeAllNeedHelp and #TeamHealing.

CAB: Resources for "Our Existence is Resistance"

Below is the Cumulative Annotated Bibliography I created during my first term in graduate school. After presenting at the 7th Annual Archeological Conference of the South Carolina Lowcountry, a few people came up and asked about my research. I'm committed to sharing everything I've learned and making resources as accessible is possible. Whether reading for work, school, or pleasure, I will continuously update my reading list with literature that is expanding my outlook. I hope it is as helpful to you!

Our Existence is Resistance

With this paper, I wish to recognize womanist application in the lives of historic Africana women. More specifically, I’ve searched for and analyzed examples of womanism in Gullah Geechee women in the South. I’ve lived in Gullah Geechee communities for most of my life. From Beaufort, to Charleston, to Pawley’s Island and Georgetown, SC, I became a woman in Southern communities that astound and attract tourists with their natural beauty, Southern charm, and manufactured nostalgia.  Beneath the shiny, gentile façade lies a web of oppression—centuries old. It is with this understanding, that I describe the motivation for this study.