Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah-Geechee Nation. Image from Greenville News.
Queen Quet is a native of St. Helena Island, South Carolina. She attended Fordham College at Lincoln Center and double majored in computer science and mathematics. In 1996 she left Fordham and founded the Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition. In 1999 she became the first Gullah to speak before the United Nations, giving testimony at an April 1 hearing of the Commission on Human Rights in Switzerland. She participated in the United Nations Forum on Minority Rights which was first established in 2008. At the forum, Queen Quet recorded the human rights struggle of the Gullah/Geechee people for archival by the United Nations.
On July 2, 2002, Queen Quet was elected as the chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. Queen Quet also serves as the Chair of the Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor General Management Plan and Expert Commissioner for South Carolina. She is a member of the 15-person commission established by the United States Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Act which was passed by the United States Congress.
Queen Quet is a public advocate for the Gullah/Geechee Sea Islands in the face of increasing storm damage resulting from the climate crisis as well as ongoing flooding due to over-development and poor infrastructure maintenance. Her work includes advocating and the preservation of Gullah/Geechee cultural traditions and resources that are threatened due to gentrification and climate change.
Queen Quet served as a consultant for the 2000 Mel Gibson film The Patriot, which featured scenes set on the South Carolina coast of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. She has also been an advisor to several historical documentaries, including This Far by Faith: The African American Religious Experience, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Slavery and the Making of America, Reconstruction: The Second Civil War, and The Will to Survive: The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. She also lectures throughout the world.