The Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) is a political,educational, institutional, constructive and expansive government founded bythe Gullah descendents along the Gullah-Geechee Corridor in the Southeastern United States of America desiring to governthe said descendants upon Gullah land in the stated Gullah Geechee Corridor.
Our purpose is for the social, spiritual, economic and political upliftment and advancement of all Gullah descendants in the continental United States to a life of liberty, justice, equality, and economic freedom in the absence of tyranny.
And the members pledge to conserve the rights of their noble Gullah families to be self-governed, to preserve theGullah-Geechee culture and to respect the Human rights of all, and to believe always in the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God.
The motto of the government is “As above, so below; as within, so without” Therefore, let justice be done to all mankind, realizing that if the strong oppresses the weak, confusion and discontent will ever mark the path of man. However, with love, faith and charity towards all, the reign of peace and plenty will be heralded into the world and the generations of Gullah people shall be forever Blessed.
Section 1. This Body shall be known as The Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA). Its jurisdiction shall include all Gullah communities where the people of melanined African descent are to be found. In it alone, and through the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and Council of Elders,
hereinafter spoken of and his successors, are vested powers to establish subordinate divisions and other organizations, whose objects shall coalesce and be identical with those herein set forth, and its mandates shall be obeyed at all times and under all circumstances.
To the Gullah Nation of North America, by the authority of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess, has reserved the right to fix, regulate and determine all matters of a general or international nature as affecting the objects of the government and the membership at large.
Right to Reorganize Rebellious Branch or Division
Section 2. The right is reserved to revoke membership and to reestablish jurisdiction over any division or subordinate organization whose affairs are conducted contrary to the welfare of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA)as required by the Constitution and General Laws.
Objects and Aims
Section 3. The objects of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) shall be:to establish a Universal Confraternity and government among the Gullah families and Descendants living within
the borders of the United States of America;
to promote the spirit of Gullah pride, Black Economics, and sustainability; to reclaim Gullah Lands stolen and the fallen; to administer to and assist the needy to legally defending their Gullah land;
to assist in international trade with West Africa; to develop donated land for repatriated Gullahs to Karina, Sierra Leone; to establish Agency through ambassadorship in Karina, Sierra Leone for the representation and protection of all repatriated Gullahs from the United States;
to establish Commerce and Industry, Academies and Schools for the higher education and culture of the repatriated Gullahs and Sierra Leone people; to conduct a world-wide Commercial and Industrial Intercourse for the good of the people; to work for better living conditions in all Gullah and Karina, Sierra Leone communities.
Seven Necessary Number for Charter
Section 4. A charter may be issued to seven or more citizens of any community whose intelligence is such as to bring them within respectful recognition of the educated and cultured of such a community, provided there is no chartered division in such a community.
Section 5. All additional Divisions created in the same cities shall be called Chapters. The Charters granted to such Divisions shall be called Chapter Charters, and all new Divisions so created shall be called Chapters instead of Divisions, and the Executive Secretary, who shall be a civil servant attached to the Division, shall be the Supervisor of such Chapters.
Dominion, Provincial or Colonial Charters
Section 6. In countries requiring the Provincial or Colonial registration of Charters, there shall be issued one Dominion, Provincial or Colonial Charter, as the law may require, and all Divisions within the Charter limits shall be designated as Branches. Nothing in this provision shall be construed as giving the original Division any jurisdiction over the others other than through the parent body.
Section 1. The Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) may enact and enforce laws for its government and that for subordinate divisions, organizations and societies and members throughout the jurisdiction.
Section 2. The laws of the Gullah Nation of North America(GNONA) shall be comprised in (a) The Constitution which shall contain the outlines, fundamental principles and policies of the organization, its Jurisdiction and that of local Divisions and societies, the list of officers and all matters pertaining to their duties;
(b) The By-Laws, which shall contain the order of procedure in Convention, the specific duties of officers and committees, and the standing rules; (c) The General Laws, which shall contain all matters pertaining to the relations of members and local Divisions and societies to each other.
Amendment to Constitution
Section 3. The Constitution shall only be amended at times when such amendments extend absolutely to the further interest of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) and when carried by a two-thirds majority in Convention fully assembled.
By-Laws and General Laws; How Enacted
Section 4. By-Laws and General Laws may be enacted by the Convention of theGullah Nation of North America (GNONA), and such laws shall be carried by atwo—thirds majority.
Deputies to Convention
Section 1. Divisions and all kindred organizations, societies and orders subordinate to the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) are entitled to representation in Convention; such Divisions and societies sending a delegate or delegates, who shall be named deputies, as directed through the office of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and Council of Elders.
Terms of Deputies
Section 2. Each Deputy shall hold office for four years after election, and hisoffice shall be honorary with his expenses paid for attending Convention by hisown Division, organization, society or order. He shall be entitled to one votein Convention and no proxy shall beallowed.
Officials, Officers, Elections and Appointments
Section 1. The leaders of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) shall be aParamount Chief/Chieftess and a seven member Council of Elders for governanceand a designated International Ambassador in Sierra Leone and Be it resolved, That everything in the Constitution contradictory to or in conflict with theabove section, be and is hereby repealed and declared null and void.
Section 2. The offices of Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall be elected and his/her term of office shall be four years, providing their conduct conform to the best interests of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA).
Section 2a. All other officers forming the seven member Council of Elders shall be appointed by the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and confirmed bythe Council of Elders and such appointments shall be for four years, providing their conduct conforms to the best interests of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA), and have proven their confidence to the satisfaction of the administration, and Be it resolved, That everything in the Constitution contradictory to or in conflict with the above section be and is hereby repealed and declared null and void.
Failure of Official to Qualify
Section 3. No person elected to a high office of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) shall hold office until his credentials as to his character and qualifications have satisfied the Council of Elders. In case a person elected to a high office is rejected by the Council, the Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall have the power to appoint a person to fill the position of the personrejected until the next session of the Convention.
Section 4. An International Ambassador shall be appointed to represent the GullahNation of North America (GNONA) in every African country. In parts where thecountry is divided up into large states and different sections additional Ambassadors shall be appointed to every state and section. Also, the Ambassador shall be domiciled at the capitals of all regular governments. Their duties shall be to keep up friendly relations with the respective governments and to protect the interests of all Repatriated Gullahs and the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA)
Appointment of Ambassador
Section 5. The Council of Elders shall appoint Ambassadors on recommendation ofthe Paramount Chief/Chieftess and commission them to represent the interests ofthe government in all countries of the world, and they shall be supervised by the both the Council of Elders and Paramount Chief/Chieftess.
Election of Divisional Officers
Section 6. Divisions and subordinate organizations shall elect their own officers(except President, who shall be appointed by the Paramount Chief/Cheiftess) by majority vote to be approved of by the Paramount Chief/Chieftess.
Potentate and Supreme Commissioner
Section 1. The Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall be the invested leader of theGullah Nation of North America (GNONA) and all its appendages. He shall be ofAfrican blood and race. HeShe shall constitutionally control all affairs of theGullah Nation and all other societies.
He/She shall institute social, political, and economics orders, societies, and organizations in connection with the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA), as determined by the said Gullah Nation, and shall retain full power and control over their actions and jurisdiction.
He/She shall have constitutional authority, through his/her high office, to suspend, reduce or relieve any officer of service to The Gullah Nation of North America and subordinate orders, societies and organizations. He/She shall issue “articles” or “messages” from time to time to the entire body of the Council of Elders of the Gullah Nation of North America on questions of operation, and such “articles” and “messages” shall be respected by all thoseclaiming allegiance to the GNONA.
He/She shall appear in person to open theConvention and to deliver a speech which shall be called the “Potentate’s Speech,” and which shall be a review of the work and operations of the Gullah Nation for the past year, as also advises for the conduct of affairs for the current or following year. He/She shall make his official residence at the place provided for him by the Gullah Nation of North America.
He/She shall marry only a lady/Man of melanined African blood and parentage, and his consort shall herself by virtue of her position be head of the female division of allorganizations, societies and orders. He/She shall form a Council of Elders to assist in the administration out of the officials of the GNONA and others elected by the Convention, and his/her colleagues shall be required to be loyal to him/her and to the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA).
The Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall be empowered to confer titles, honors, orders of merit, degrees, or marks of distinction on anyperson or persons who shall have rendered faithful service to the purposes ofthe Gullah Nation of North America of whom he/she has been advised as being fitto bear such titles, honors, orders of merit, degrees or marks of distinction.
The Paramount Chieft/Chieftess shall appoint or commission, through his office, any member or members to carry out any work in the interest of GNONA.
He/She shall be privileged to nominate his successor during his lifetime, and that nomination shall be handed in a sealed envelope to the Council of Elders, whoshall preserve the same until the time of his death, At the time of his death his nomination shall be handed over to the full Council, and the Council of Elders shall make two other nominations before breaking the seal of the late Paramount Chief/Chieftess’s nomination; the nominations of the Executive Council shall be from among officials, officers, or distinguished members of the organization who have heretofore distinguished themselves in service to GNONAand whose honor, loyalty and devotion cannot be questioned.
After breaking theseal of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess’s nomination, the three nominations shallbe announced to the world and the Council of Elders shall call an immediate session of the Convention and then and there elect the new Paramount Chief/Chieftess from the three nominees by majority vote and ballot.
The election of a new Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall take place two months after the demise of theformer, and his/her investiture shall take place one month after his/herelection. On the death of the Potentate, and on the election of another, his/her consort shall vacate the official residence for another to be provided by the Gullah Nation of North America, which shall support her/him until her/his death or marriage to another party.
Paramount Chief?Chieftess’s Power Derived from Executive Council
Section2. The Paramount Chief/Chieftess’s power of action in all matters shall bederived from the advice received from his Council of Elders, which advice shallbe expressive of the will and sentiment of the people, and he shall not beem powered to act in any matter of great moment without first receiving the advice of the Council of Elders.
Impeachment of’ Potentate or Supreme Deputy
Section4. The Paramount Chief/Chieftess, Council of Elders and InternationalAmbassadors, should they at any time act contrary to the good and welfare of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) in refusing or neglecting to abide by or carry out the commands of the Gullah Nation through its Constitution andthrough the order of its Convention shall, on proper evidence of the fact, be impeached by the Council of Elders through the office of the Council of Elders, and they shall be tried for such irregularities, neglect, misconduct or disloyalty to the Gullah Nation before the body, and if found guilty by a two-thirds vote, they shall automatically forfeit the high office held by them, and the Council of Elders along with the Paramount Chief shall take immediate steps to elect a new Elder designee.
Counsel of Elders Must Prosecute
Section 5. If the Elder shall be charged or impeached before the Body, theCouncil of Elders shall prosecute them in the interest of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA), and they shall have counsel to appear before the Body inhis behalf, and such counsel shall be an active member or officer of Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA).
Section 6. No Council of Elders, except an Officer or Active Member of the Gullah Nation of North America, shall be allowed to appear in behalf of any members charged before any “responsible body of trial” of the Gullah Nation ofNorth America (GNONA).
Section 7. Should the Council of Elders take or receive moneys or gifts fromany person or persons by way of bribes or rewards for neglecting or selling outthe interests of GNONA, he shall be guilty of high crime against the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA), and on conviction before the Body shall forthwith be disgraced and dismissed from the high office he/she holds.
Officials Found Guilty
Section 8. Any Council of Elders or International Ambassador of GNONA charged and found guilty of a similar offence shall be forthwith dismissed from theoffice of GNONA through the office of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess, on the approval of the Council of Elders.
Shall Not Receive Money or Gifts
Section 9. No officer or official in the service of the Gullah Nation of North America shall receive money or gifts on his or her account from anyone for services rendered for GNONA but all such money and gifts shall be turned over to andshall be the property of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA); but a purse or testimonial may be presented publicly to any officer or official onhis or her own account as appreciation of faithful services performed for the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA).
All Active Members Must Approve Constitution
Section 10. All Council of Elders members and International Ambassadors of theGullah Nation of North America shall sign their names in approval and acceptance of the Constitution and By-Laws in a register provided for that purpose before they are installed into office.
Requirements of Paramount Chief/Chieftess, Council of Elders, Ambassaors
Section 1. All officials and high officers of the Gullah Nation of North America shall be melanined Africans and their consorts or wives shall be as well. No one shall be admitted to the high offices of the Association whose life companion is of an alien race.
Qualifications for Council of Elder membership
Section 2. The qualifications of candidates for high office of the GullahNation of North America (GNONA) and for candidates for divisional offices shallbe as follows:
Registered Active membership with all dues paid up; shall be a melanin Gullah descendant living in the Gullah Corridor or within the borders of the continental United States of America; shall be proven to be conscientious to the cause of Black progress; he/she shall not be married to anyone of alien race, shall be of reputable moral standing and good education.
Revenue, Incomes, Etc.
Section 1. The Revenue of the Gullah Nation of North America shall be derived from monthly and annual subscriptions, which will entail the sliding membership fees: $25 for general membership, $15 for teenager under 18 years of age, $50 for a family of four, $15 for college students.
All college students must submit a recent copy of their college schedule to received a much lower membership fee and donations, collections, gifts, profits derived from businesses, entertainments, and functions.
Section 2. The revenue of the Gullah Nation of North America shall be apportioned to the General Fund, which shall go to bear the general expenses of the organization and its projects.
Remitting of Monthly Dues by Local Divisions, Societies, Etc.
Section 3. The leadership of all regional Chapters, Divisions and subordinateor organizations shall remit at the end of each month to Gullah Nation of North America through it local secretary, two-thirds of all monthly membership subscriptions, joining fees, dues and net profits from local business under control of the Gullah nation of North America, as also from donations, grants, amusements, entertainments and other functions to the general fund of the Gullah Nation of North America(GNONA) for its operations and projects.
All moneys of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) shall be lodged the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and two designated members of the Council of Elders in a responsible Black-owned bank in the United States, and drawn only on the signatures of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and two designated members of the Council of Elders.
Donations to Charity by GNONA
Section 5. The Paramount Chief/Chieftess shall be empowered to make donations of charity to be created from a Charitable Fund of the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA), to worthy causes in the Gullah Corridor and in Karina, Sierra Leone with the majority approval of the Council of Elders.
Investing of Money
Section 6. The Gullah Nation of North America and all of its Divisions may invest money in any business which to the best judgment the members of theorganization are of such as to yield profit in interest and success of GNONA, but no Division shall invest its funds without approval of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess.
No Investments by Divisions
Section 7. No investment of money shall be made by a local Division or Chapter without the majority consent of the membership in that local Division or Chapter along with the approval of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess.
Selling Outside Stock
Section 8. No Division or Chapter shall allow any of its officers or members to use the meetings of the GNONA organization for selling stocks or shares in any personal or private concern, and any such officer or member found guilty of such offence shall be suspended.
Section 9. The Gullah Nation of North America may invest itsmoney wholly or in company with others for the good of the organization; however, the Council of Elders must be notified.
Net Proceeds to Divisions
Section 11. Fifty percent. of the proceeds ofall entertainments submitted by auxiliaries of Divisions, Branches or Chapters shall be turned over to the Division, Branch or Chapter after all legitimate expenses incurred for such entertainments have been paid, and no auxiliary shall give any entertainment without the permission of the President of the Division, Branch or Chapter.
Section 12. All auxiliaries of Divisions must turn into the treasury of the Divisions to which they are attached all moneys derived from entertainments at the first meeting following such entertainments.
Section 1. All persons of Gullah and melanined-African descent are regarded as ordinary members of the Gullah Nation of North America, and are entitled to the consideration of the organization. Active members are those who pay the annual membership dues for the continued growth and management of the Gullah Nation of North America.
Section 1. A GNONA Bureau of Passports shall be attached to the Gullah Nationof North America.
Section 2. Each and every Active member who desires a GNONA Passport Identification for the purpose of international travel, repatriation or for the purpose of receiving recognition, consideration and likely assistance from our Ambassador in Karina, Sierra Leone shall be supplied with one of these Passports upon the approval of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess and the Council of Elders.
Section 3. Each GNONA passport shall have on its face a photograph of the bearer, the signature of the bearer, and such other details as may be provided in the rules and regulations of the Bureau of Passports and Identifications.
Section 4. Each passport identification shall be issued by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities’ League from its Headquarters. It shall be signed and stamped by the Executive Secretary stationed at the Division where the passport has been secured.
Section 5. Before a passport identification can be secured each and every member shall be required to fill out a bill of particulars, and only financial members whose dues and assessments have been fully paid up and whose records are clean shall be supplied with a GNONA passport identification. No one shall be granted a GNONA passport identification until he or she shall have been in the GNONA organization for six months and shall have paid up all membership dues.
Section 6. The sum of $100.00 shall be paid for the issuance of every GNONA Passport Identification. Renewals may be made annually against the payment of a fee of only $50.00.
Section 7. The Gullah Nation of North America through the office the Paramount Chief/Chieftess, shall see that each and every Active member who holds a GNONA passport identification is properly protected, in case of abuse, advantage or injustice committed upon such individual.
Karina, Sierra Leone Redemption Fund
1. The Gullah Nation of North America shall be empowered to raise a universal fund from all Gullah for the purpose of the redemption of The Gullah settlement and Karina, Sierra Leone. All Gullahs in North America shall be asked to contribute to this fund a sum not less than $25.00. This contribution to the African Redemption Fund shall not be a tax on Active members, but shall be a voluntary contribution by all melanin Gullahs and diasporan Africans.
2. This fund shall be known as the “Gullah Settlement-Karina, Sierra Leone Redemption Fund”.
3. Each and every person who subscribes to this fund shall receive a certificate of loyalty to the GNONA cause. The certificate shall bear the signatures of the Paramount Chief/Chieftess of the Gullah Nation of NorthAmerica.
4. The purpose of the Gullah Nation-Karina, Sierra Leone Redemption Fund shall be to create working capital for the Gullah Nation of North America (GNONA) for investment projects in the village and to advance the cause for the building up of the Gullah settlement and Karina,Sierra Leone, West Africa.
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Sheila Hightower-Allen Adjunct Professor at Augusta Technical College. Family Genealolgist and Historian: Old 96 District, North Augusta, Ededgfield, Johnston, and Appling, GA.
Lonzado Langley Chief -Professional Forensic Genealogist/Colonial Historian on Indian Slavery and Colonial Slave Trade 15th-19th Century. Subject matter expert on colonial race laws. Savannah River Uchee and Apalche Historian ,South Carolina and Georgia.
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Irma Suggs - Family Historian