Is Black History Month Really About ‘Sankofa’? [VIDEO]
This year marks the 39th anniversary that we have been celebrating Black History Month. But as we give profiles, facts and quizzes on prominent men and women of color who have collectively shaped America as we know it today, how much of what we absorb actually help us to gather some sense of identity and belonging amongst ourselves, the community and the world to make it a better place for us all?
Does Black History Month spark that “knowledge of self” within each of us to become more inclined to harness our afro-centric makeup after February 28 and beyond as it relates to understanding who we are as African beings on this planet?
Black History Month, in my opinion, is about the concept of “SANKOFA”, a West African word derived from King Adinkera, which literally means “it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot”. “Sankofa” teaches us that we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us, so that we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone or been stripped of, can be reclaimed, revived, preserved and perpetuated.
The symbol for “Sankofa” is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future and/or the cosmic egg of the universe) in its beak.
In any case, it is your Zep Tepi — go back and fetch it!