Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation
Queen Quet Marquetta L. Goodwine is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, environmental justice advocate, environmentalist, film consultant, and “The Art-ivist.” She is the founder of the premiere advocacy organization for the continuation of Gullah/Geechee culture, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. Queen Quet has not only provided “histo-musical presentations” throughout the world, but was also the first Gullah/Geechee person to speak on behalf of her people before the United Nations in Genevé, Switzerland. Queen Quet was one of the first of seven inductees in the Gullah/Geechee Nation Hall of Fame.
In 2008, she was recorded at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France at a United Nations Conference in order to have the human rights story of the Gullah/Geechee people archived for the United Nations. In 2009, she was invited by the Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations to come and present before the newly founded “Minority Forum” as a representative of the Gullah/Geechee Nation and the International Human Rights Association for American Minorities (IHRAAM). She also represented IHRAAM and the Gullah/Geechee Nation at the UN's Conference of Parties 22 (COP22) in Morocco. She returned to the UN for the Oceans Conference in 2017 and in 2018 she represented her people at the Global Climate Action Summit. In 2019, she was invited by the United Nations to present at the Ocean Action Conference in Korea.
Due to Queen Quet advancing the idea of keeping the Gullah/Geechee culture alive, the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition worked with US Congressman James Clyburn to insure that the United States Congress would work to assist the Gullah/Geechees. Queen Quet then acted as the community leader to work with the United States National Park Service to conduct the “Special Resource Study of Lowcountry Gullah Culture.” As a result, in 2006 the “Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act” was passed by the United States Congress and signed into law by the president.
Queen Quet has won countless awards for being a woman of distinction, for her scholarship, writings, artistic presentation, activism, cultural continuation and environmental preservation. Queen Quet was chosen by Toyota and the Audubon as a TogetherGreen Fellow, a network of environmental conservationists. As a result, she created an on-going program called “Gullah/ Geechee SEA & ME” in which SEA stands for “saving environmental actions” and ME stands for “marine environment.” This program focuses on intergenerational engagement in learning Gullah/Geechee traditions that are beneficial to the Sea Island environment and promotes engagement in citizens science activities.
Queen Quet has received numerous awards and accolades recognizing her dedication to preserving the Gullah/Geechee cultural heritage and avid work address the environmental issues of her people and the world at large. Some of these awards include: the Living Legend Award from the founders of Black History Month, the inaugural MaVynee Betsch Conservation Award, numerous Woman of Distinction Awards, the National Black Herstory Award, being featured on the “Wall of Heroes” at the National Wilderness Society, “Preserving Our Places in History Lifetime Achievement Award” from the South Carolina African American Heritage Commission and the Oceans Hero Award in Washington, D.C. The General Assembly of South Carolina also honored Queen Quet with Resolution 1453 for the work that she has done on behalf of her home state and Gullah/Geechee people locally, nationally, and internationally.
Queen Quet was selected, elected, and enstooled by her people to be the first Queen Mother, “head pun de bodee,” and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. As a result, she is respectfully referred to as “Queen Quet, Chieftess and Head-of-State for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.”