I'm SaraMakeba. I am a Cultural History Interpreter driven to understand and shine light on the lives and stories of Africana women/femmes and Africana History and Culture. I am a Womanist. I am committed to personal and collective holistic healing and liberation. And I know this to be true: We cannot heal without claiming ourselves and claiming our stories. They are ours to tell.  

From educator, facilitator, presenter, mentor and tutor, to event coordinator and interpretive aide, I love finding creative ways to inspire and engage people of all ages.

Join me as I strive to survive, thrive and write myself whole. 

*image by artist, Natalie Daise

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

The Gullah Geechee culture is not only rich in history. The gifts our ancestors gave are infinite and inspire us daily but it doesn’t just stop there. No, Gullah Geechee is a living, breathing culture. What we do today continues to shape our community and narrative. From healing work, to activism, music, entrepreneurship, preservation, counseling, parenting, natural hair care and more, Gullah Geechee women continue to “Reach back and get it” and then put their thing down, flip it and reverse it!


shanequa grad pic

Shaniqua Davenport Coaxum, Geechee Gal

I was born in Fort Jackson, SC (military) but raised in Beaufort, SC by way of Burton, SC and later St. Helena Island. Honestly, I started to identify as Gullah Geechee at the age of 8, when my mother moved our family across the bridge from Burton to St. Helena Island, SC. My siblings and I went to Penn Center's Afterschool Program for Cultural Enrichment for years. I attended until 9th grade.  I started to to claim the culture because I knew we were unique as far as traditions, work ethic, the way we ate and cooked–but I really didn’t understand until I got older.

To me Gullah Geechee is a unique culture and way of life; speaking, cooking, eating, and work ethic.

fam pic

I am passionate about my business and and about educating my clients. Not only do I teach them how to care for their hair; but I educate them about our culture and who we are. So many of them have never heard the words “Gullah Geechee” but will go to Charleston or Hilton Head to eat and enjoy our cultural dishes without knowing anything about the origin.

little girl style

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!

The work ethic and entrepreneurial skills of my ancestors definitely plays a role in how I handle business. My advice to other women is to stay true to yourself and your brand. Never compete with the next business owner–what’s yours is yours. Customers will come and come and go but loyal clients will be there until the end.

I think to preserve the culture we  need to create a group of people who are passionate about the Gullah Geechee culture and community. We should utilize technology and social media. This would bring awareness and eventually help our culture evolve beyond the corridor. Many of us natives no longer live in The Lowcountry but love sharing and celebrating our Gullah Geechee traditions in our various cities.

Check out Shaniqua’s work: Naturelle Beaute’ by Shaniqua !


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

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

Geechee Gals Gettin It - Vol. 1: Tamika Middleton

Geechee Gals Gettin It - Vol. 1: Tamika Middleton