What is sankofa? The Ghanaian term translates to “go back and get it,” which is extremely important with learning black history. In a traditional education, black history is rarely taught; this is a problem in and of itself. It is not until college where most people tend to realize that there are majors pertaining to African people. People across the African diaspora consist of Africans, Caribbeans, Afro-Latinos, and generally some countries in the Middle East. In present day America, there seems to be a lack of knowledge with people learning about their ethnic backgrounds. The reason why sankofa is so important is because there is a disconnect with using just the classroom as a way to learn, instead of using the world as one’s educational source. There are several books, movies, documentaries, and museums filled with tons of information from post slavery, to the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, to the drug trade in America during the late 1960s to 1975.
In order to uplift one another and see our people flourish into future leaders of the world, there needs to be more determination and power from our youth to find ways to educate themselves. In order to know who we are as a Black community today, we must look back on our history to find out where we are headed for our future. Sankofa seeks to provide enlightenment of Black culture so that our history is not forgotten or forgone. Our ancestors were stripped of their pride when they were forced to change their names and leave their native land, resulting in a more watered-down culture and way of life. Through all of the hardships, Black people across the world are still standing stronger than ever, and as we strive to conquer the trials and tribulations of an unjust nation we must call the names of the people we have lost through an unjust system. Remember Eric Garner. Remember Trayvon Martin. Remember Philando Castile. Remember Alton Sterling. Remember Sandra Bland. Remember Tanisha Anderson. Remember the reason why you are proud to be Black. Lastly, remember to EDUCATE, ELEVATE, AND EMPOWER!
By Keara George