Ohio University - Home

Place Holder
University/Community Service

Cultural Enrichment Series 2002:  Journey to Wholeness

Jeff Handley, Director of GEAR UP

GEAR UP entered into a partnership with Ohio University to facilitate an April 10-12, 2002 visit to Ironton, Ohio by Queen Quet and De Gullah Conneckshun.

The purpose of the visit was a continuation of the Ohio University commitment to programs providing cultural diversity and enrichment for members of our community. Socio-historical presentations were provided for Ohio University students, students of Ironton City Schools, and a special finale for community residents in southeastern Ohio.

Calendar of Events
Sponsored by GEAR-UP

Wednesday April 10, 2002
6:30 p.m. Dean’s Welcome
1804 Conference Room, OUS

7:00 p.m. Dinner Riffe Rotunda, OUS

7:45 p.m. Ceremonial Presentations
Riffe Rotunda, OUS 

8:15 p.m. Evening Social
Riffe Rotunda, OUS

Thursday April 11, 2002
10:00 a.m. Press Conference
3rd floor Riffe Center, OUS

11:00 a.m. Horizon’s Program
3rd floor Riffe Center, OUS

1:00 p.m. Gullah/Geechee Open ForumBowman Auditorium, OUS

4:00 p.m. Gullah/Geechee Open Forum
Operation Be Proud Center

5:00 p.m. Community Social
Operation Be Proud Center

Friday April 12, 2002
1:00 p.m. “Who Wi Da: Gullahs and Geechees
of the Sea Islands”
Ironton High School Auditorium

7:30 p.m. “Who Wi Da: Gullahs and Geechees of the Sea Islands”Bowman Auditorium, OUS

Marquetta L. Goodwine

Marquetta L. Goodwine has spent most of her life educating the public about the history, legacy and culture of the Gullah/Geechee people.  This tireless activist, author, playwright, preservationist, lecturer and performer was enstooled as Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation in July, 2000.  Queen Quet acts as a liaison between the Gullah Nation and other nations of the world, as well as media, government and educational institutions.

A descendant of two Gullah families, Queen Quet grew up on St. Helena Island and graduated in the top ten of her class.  Marquetta L. Goodwine has earned degrees in mathematics and computer science from Fordham University at Lincoln Center and Columbia University, while remaining active in numerous African American socio-political activities.

In 1996, Queen Quet founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition.  “It is a coalition of individuals, institutions and organizations dedicated to preserving Gullah history, heritage, culture, the land and our language.”

In 1999, Queen Quet was asked by the International Human Rights Association for American Minorities to speak on behalf of the Gullah/Geechee people before the United Nations’ 55th Session in Geneva, Switzerland.

GEAR UP Partnering with
Ohio University Southern


    Cultural Enrichment 

   Social Diversity 




Charles Jarrett and Dave Lucas

Charles Jarrett and David Lucas are pleased to fulfill the goal of inviting Queen Quet and De Gullah Conneckshun to Ohio University Southern Campus. Queen Quet serves as the official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee nation, even addressing the United Nations on behalf of her people.

The people of our community (and the students attending Ohio University) will have an opportunity to learn about a culture vastly different from our Appalachian heritage.

Three presentations are planned during April 10-12, 2002 (see schedule). One program will be a special presentation for students attending Ironton City Schools.A second program will consist of music, dialogue, and narratives with interaction from Ohio University students. A finale is planned for the general public in the Bowman Auditorium of Ohio University Southern.

All programs are free to the public!

Dr. David Lucas and Dr. Charles Jarrett are introducing a new and innovative research methodology during a two-year pilot study of Gullah culture. Folknography© represents an evolution of experiences by the two Ohio University professors using ethnographic narratives, methods of rapid rural appraisal, and principles of interpersonal communication in their previous research.

Folknography© is a new and innovative method of qualitative research appropriate for understanding the ‘subjective perspective’ of a particular ‘folk.’  The term  ‘folk’ literally means a particular population of people and the term ‘nography’ represents a reference to recording symbolic representations and cultural descriptions. Folknographers© place themselves in the midst of a specific ‘folk,’ and from this vantage point, attempt to interpret and describe social reality from their unique perspective stressing their attitudes, their beliefs, their values, their views, their rituals, and their mode of interaction.

Who Wi Da: Gullahs & Geechees of the Sea Islands

An evening with Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and De Gullah Cunneckshun.
 Events open to the public at no cost.

For more information about Folknography©, and Gullah culture visit the Ohio University Southern Folknography© Research website:


Gullah/Geechee History

Living in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina, Georgia and northern Florida ( and about 30 miles inland) is the Gullah/Geechee Nation, comprised of the descendants of Africans once enslaved in the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire.

The words Gullah and Geechee refer to West African ethnic groups. “However, amongst ourselves, we don’t use these designations,” notes historian Marquetta L. Goodwine.  “We know  we’re all kin.  We’re all the same culture, heritage, and legacy.”

Gullah language combines elements of West African dialects with English pidgin bases. Gullah is the only surviving English-based Creole language in America. The language developed as a way for Africans of various tribes to communicate with one another, a way that plantation owners would not understand.

Gullah is an oral history, and younger generations have kept the traditional spirit of Gullah alive through language, religion, arts, crafts, stories, and song. Gullah/Geechee people reflect a more African influence in their behavior, self-expression, and beliefs than any other African American group in the United States of America.