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Cassandra Davis of the Hamlin Beach Settlement Community shares her heart…

Here is my heart. Will you use your expertise to help protect us? Will I commit to purchasing Sweetgrass baskets from myself and other community members? I am a Gullah-GeeChee person and I am so frustrated that a lot of people do not understand our heritage.

1. No one really purchases our sweetgrass baskets anymore. These baskets are more than pretty designs and skills passed down from slavery. Yes, that is very important but, it is a job, a source of finance to help feed our families, pay for our utilities, buy medicine and so much more.

2. Developers fight our community members and boards when they come to us for support so that they can get their plan approved. We ask them for simple things: community centers, good grants for the youth, sidewalks or general things. They say no or say yes with a trickery clause.

3. We tell them there are more than enough mini mansions in Mount Pleasant. Why don't they create a community for everyday people? For people that make $35,000.00 or less. And dedicate a certain amount of homes for the Gullah-GeeChee people. They laugh even when we show them that there is federal funding available to offset their profit.

4. I think about the cashiers, waitresses, cooks, and so many jobs that pay $15-18 + an hour. The people who are responsible, with great value and credit. If the person has to live in Goose Creek, Summerville and other places, how long do we think they will continue to come to Mount Pleasant to work.

5. I think about our culture of having our family unit that operates as a village, is split apart. Our Sunday dinners are few and far because everyone is forced to move out because they cannot afford to live in our community. We are used to getting off work and going to our parents and siblings house, sitting around and joking around. Eating dinner together. Helping our parents in the time of need.

6. Like when will someone care enough to help us fight.

7. We are a special group of people. The Department of Interior recognizes our communities as the Gullah-GeeChee Coordinator but that means nothing if our land is not protected or our people and culture is not protected.

8. I often wonder why we are not protected like the Native Americans. We should be.

9. We have volunteers in each community serving on community boards but we need help to fight our cause. If you made it here, thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. And if you have a passion for the preservation of the Gullah-GeeChee people reach out to me.

A gift from Mr. Michael Allen:

Cassandra Johnson-Davis

Hamlin Beach Community

Resident Community established 1881


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