Queen Quet (Marquetta L. Goodwine) is a published author, computer scientist, lecturer, mathematician, historian, columnist, preservationist, and "The Art-ivist." She 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. Goodwine was also selected, elected, and enstooled by her people to be the first queen mother of and official spokesperson for the Gullah/Geechee Nation. As a result, she is respectfully referred to as "Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah /Geechee Nation." She is the head-of-state for the Gullah/Geechee Nation.
"I learned the art of transmitting stories and folklore from the elders of my family as I grew up on St. Helena Island in Beaufort, SC. At the time that I was learning these stories and would relay them to others, I did not realize that I was being 'taught' anything. The stories and the spirituals that are the center points of survival in my community came to me naturally as did the movements as I began to choreograph my own dances without an instructor of any kind” says Queen Quet.
"In my community we say, ‘Hunnuh ain gwine kno wey hunnuh duh gwine ef hunnuh ain kno wey hunnuh dey frum.’ This amounts to: 'You won't know where you are going, if you do not know where you are from.' This for me is the epitome of what my traditions mean to my community. I want the world to realize the existence of these traditions and to help us continue to have them be practiced at home on the Sea Islands. We have no community if we do not have our land, our family, our songs, our arts, our crafts, our skills, and most of all, our connection to the Creator."
Queen Quet works daily throughout the Lowcountry Sea Islands from North Carolina down to Amelia Island, FL on the United States eastern seaboard to make people aware of her people and the need for continuation of their traditions. She is one of the founders of and the Chancellor of the International University of the Gullah/Geechee Nation. She places a major focus on preservation of their historic homeland and their unique language which evolved from the combining of the various African languages and dialects of her ancestors which had been enslaved and became known as "the Gullah people." Gullah and its derivative "Geechee" also included the use of Elizabethan English in order to create a rhythm that is a "code of the spirit." The spiritual traditions of the Gullah/ Geechee have this same rhythm which resonates connection, freedom, and survival. This is seen by people around the world when she comes as the liasion for her people to insure that others are aware of their "TRUE" story.
Queen Quet's writings on the history of her people have received various awards and are being utilized in educational facilities across the country. Among her many writings are a thirty volume series on Gullah/Geechee culture that she has released three volumes of to date (the fourth will be released in November 2003) and a Gullah anthology, "The Legacy of Ibo Landing: Gullah Roots of African American Culture." She is also a contributing writer to "The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery."
Queen Quet has personally been awarded the Harriet Tubman Women of Distinction Award and the BeautySpirit Award for being the embodiment of Harriet Tubman's spirit in New York City. In South Carolina she has received the Girl Scouts of the SC Lowcountry Woman of Distinction Award as well as the Community Service Award from Carae's Lowcountry Modeling - an organization focused on youth leadership building. She has been previously listed in Who's Who for her academic scholarship. The University of South Carolina provided her with the first of the "Citizens Building Community Awards" for "changing the face of South Carolina." This was presented as part of their bicentennial celebration.
The Mayor of the City of Ironton, Ohio also added to the accolades that Queen Quet receives when on tour with her histo-musical presentation troupe, "De Gullah Cunneckshun" when he presented her with the key to his city on her first trip there. In 2003, April 11th was officially proclaimed as "Queen Quet Day" by the same city. In 2004, the new mayor proclaimed April 14th also as "Queen Quet Day."
In June 2003, Queen Quet received the "BMW Entertainment Award" in the acting category. She has also received numerous certificates of appreciation and other awards from the South Carolina World Trade Center, local schools, and civic groups. In January 2005, she was awarded the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Folklife Apprenticeship Initiative Grant for being a master artist. In March 2005, she was one of five people in the Lowcountry to be awarded the prestigious "Jefferson Award" for community service. She also was sent to the national awards as the one representative from the Lowcountry. In April 2005, she was named on of the heroes of the Wilderness Society and was placed on their Washington, DC headquarters’ "Faces of Conservation" wall. In March 2006 she also became the first of three to ever be honored with the "Agnes C. Sherman African American Women of Distinction Award" by Penn Center, Inc.
Since 2006, Queen Quet has also been awarded a Beaufort South Carolina Arts Council grant for a documentary that she will shoot called, "Voices of an Island." She has also been featured in the Wal-mart "Voices of Color" documentary "The Will to Survive: The Story of the Gullah/Geechee Nation," which aired in the United States during February and March and internationally thereafter. The film won international film awards as well.
Queen Quet continues to be called upon to sit on numerous local, national and international boards and to consult on and appear in films (Mel Gibson's, "The Patriot”), documentaries ("The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow," "This Far by Faith: The African American Religious Experience," "The American Experience: Reconstruction," and "Slavery and the Making of America"), international programs in Australia, England, Germany and Italy, artistic productions, and books. She continues to share her spirit and the stories, songs, language, and the soul of her people because she believes, "Hunnuh mus tek cyare de root fuh heal de tree." Queen Quet received the Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Advocacy Award in 2001.