Tuesday, June 9, 2009

About Me: So What the Eff's a BROOKLYN GEECHEE!?!?!?

" to the surprise of the spry seafarers/ sassafrass announced/ "i'ma be a cunjah." they laughed credulously/ sayin/ "you awready a geechee / how much more magic you want?"

--Ntozake Shange, "Sassafrass, Cypress and Indigo"

n. Coastal South Carolina and Georgia
a. The Gullah creole.
b. A speaker of Gullah.
2. Offensive Used as a disparaging term for a person who speaks a nonstandard local dialect, as in Savannah, Georgia, or Charleston, South Carolina.

I don't remember when I exactly came up with "Brooklyn Geechee". I just remember that from reading "Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo" and ultimately "Daughters of the Dust" that I resonated with these woman, called backward, ignorant, heathen and immoral when they were basically trying to honor their ancestors by keeping to the old ways and living the most genuine happy life they could live.

I related to that because walking around Brooklyn, I felt like the onliest little black girl that wasn't into rockin' a name brand, thinking about dating a brother with rims (or even a car for that matter!), and listening to some of the goddess-awful music spewing out of the radio. People would see me with my gig bag on my back and go "You play the guitar?" almost with this shock. So I decided to call myself a Brooklyn Geechee : Ridiculed for being different, weird, heathen and strange.... and loving themselves and their lives regardless!


  1. Chris Defendorf likes this.

  2. Peace Sister Moon!

    I am the Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. We just got the notice that your site exist. Thus, we wanted to find out if it was here to link actually Gullah/Geechees that are in Brooklyn and the rest of NYC. So, I am pleased that you put up the reason for the name and the fact that you are open to constructive criticism.

    The film, "Daughters of the Dust" was not seen in a positive way by thousands of Gullah/Geechees. it is a fiction work and does not accurately reflect what our culture truly is and the things that are central to us continuing to exist.

    The pain that we have endured is undeniable. So, at NO TIME do we celebrate being ridiculed. We have stood on our right to self-determination to form a nation that is internationally recognized in order to educate people on who we truly are and make people aware that we are proud to be African and we are still connected to our land, language, and traditions. We pray that you will help us to give people these facts. People can go to www.officialgullahgeechee.info or www.gullahgeechee.net and we pray that the healing will come to all that do. We also look for you to stand with us!

    Queen Quet
    Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

  3. Thank you Queen Quet for posting your comments, and for providing the websites where we can learn more about Gullah/Geechee culture.

    Please understand that I in no means did not consider the books that I mentioned in this blog to be commentaries on Geechee life. I understand that they are works of fiction.

    My calling myself a Brooklyn Geechee was based on resonating with the "lives" of the characters in these works, and their struggle to live their most authentic existence DESPITE being ridiculed and viewed as different and strange. This blog reflects this and this only.

    I stand with anyone who is motivated to uplift and defend their pursuit of a beautiful life!

    Peace from Brooklyn!