This TikToker Is Repping Gullah Geechee Culture And Schooling Folks At The Same Time
"I'm glad to let people know there’s nothing to be ashamed of being Gullah Geechee," Akua Page, aka Geechee Goddess, said.
by Nick Fenley
July 20, 2022 at 9:58 pm
According to the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission, the Gullah Geechee aka simply “Gullah” or “Geechee” people’s ancestors were formerly enslaved on the “isolated island and coastal plantations” of the Southeastern United States.
“Gullah Geechee people are descendants of Western and Central Africans who were stolen and kidnapped and forced to work on plantations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Florida,” Page said.
With her content devoted to “preserv[ing] Gullah Geechee culture,” Page creates TikToks focused on telling stories about the culture.
@geecheegoddess vote for @marceldixonforcongress #geecheetiktok #charlestonsc #gullahgeechee ♬ Sunny Day – Ted Fresco
Page gives viewers a feel for Gullah Geechee linguistic norms as well.
Page notably doesn’t only display Gullah Geechee lingo, but she explains the story behind it at well.
@geecheegoddess Black Creole Speakers Check-in 🔊 #geecheetiktok ♬ POPPIN THIS THING BACKKKK – ✦ #1 fireoiny shipper
Tapping into her entrepreneurial side, Page also uses her platform to sell Gullah Geechee diaspora flags, which she describes as a “community project” to encourage people to rep their culture or ancestry.
@geecheegoddess July 2nd – 9th is Denmark Vesey Week #blackindependenceday #geecheetiktok ♬ original sound – WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE 👑
Page also has a series dubbed “Gullah Geechee Hoodoo Medicine” that centers on preserving some of the culture’s traditional holistic practices.
Through her efforts, Page has amassed nearly 60K followers on TikTok, and her work has been noticed by another prominent voice in educating people about Gullah Geechee culture: Natalie Daise, who was one of the lead stars of Nickelodeon’s Gullah Gullah Island, which aired in the mid-to-late 1990s.
“I love the work she does for a new generation, the evolution of language and culture,” Daise said in a statement to the Atlanta Black Star, adding that she and Page met nearly three years ago.
While speaking to the publication, Page herself went on to talk about the importance that her work has in getting people to embrace their Gullah Geechee heritage.
“We’re changing the perspective [of] how people are looking at the Gullah Geechee culture, because coming up when you call me Geechee that used to be fighting words, that used to be close to calling somebody the N-word back in the day, so I’m glad to let people know there’s nothing to be ashamed of being Gullah Geechee,” Page noted.
“Growing up in Charleston, I really didn’t connect with my history, how I mentioned. At least through the school system, Geechee was something they tried to make us feel shamed about,” she continued. “There’s been a lot of things to divide us, but just sharing my culture, it brings about unity within the Black diaspora.”