The Sankofa Project
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Know Your History

  • The Sankofa Project is the reconciliation between Africans & their Diasporan Brothers & sisters. It is our return home in getting to know one another thru our shared history, differences & commonalities. A dialogue & olive branch toward putting families back together.

    Learning, Teaching, Building of Community
    “return and get it”
    symbol of the importance of learning from the past.

    Sankofa News

  • Sankofa


    The Sankofa Project

    Learning, Teaching, Building of Community


    “return and get it”

    symbol of  the importance of learning from the past.

    The Global Fusion Way: savor the good fruits of our root!

    The Sankofa Project is the reconciliation between Africans & their Diasporan Brothers & sisters. It is our return home in getting to know one another thru our shared history, differences & commonalities. A dialogue & olive branch toward putting families back together.

    Return to Ghana

    Okomfo Anokye

    The Adinkra Blueprint for the Sankofa Project:
    Thru change & transformation of character, we offer the fern in peace & celebration of our common endurance & resourcefulness in our search for Independence.



    “Change or transform your character”

    symbol of life transformation
    This symbol combines two separate adinkra symbols, the “Morning Star” which can mean a new start to the day,
    placed inside the wheel, representing rotation or independent movement.




    symbol of endurance and resourcefulness
    The fern is a hardy plant that can grow in difficult places.
    “An individual who wears this symbol suggests that he has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty.”




    symbol of independence, freedom, emancipation
    “From the expression: Fawodhodie ene obre na enam.
    Literal translation: “Independence comes with its responsibilities.”
    Ashanti Proverb: The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people.

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My Personal Story

I just really recognized in the euphoria of the Obama Era, the difference in psyche as an African-American as apposed to an African-American whose only direct history to Africa is thru the teachings of being children of slaves. I was born in America, but my American home life was as Ghanaian as the ones in Ghana minus the outdoor makeshift kitchens, but then again I guess that was the original BBQ pit- LOL! I never heard or used the word "Nigger" in my house nor was I told or believed that I was a child of slaves. This is a psyche that fundamentally separates us. I have now come to believe that the difference in psyche an African-American like me, who is a 1st generation American of Ghanaian parentage gives me a different outlook in attaining our shared American Dream. I had seen & known of great Black Presidents before who looked like me & had surnames that sounded like mine, so Barack Obama wasn't unheard of, or such an impossibility to me.

The African-American psych thru slavery, Jim Crowe & Civil Rights was one that believed in education & hard work, but it was just the effort & doing a good job that was the goal because after all "no matter how hard you try "the white man will never let you get ahead"; while in my African African- American upbringing the psyche was education & going above & beyond a good job would lead you to the ultimate goal of Excellency, & the only person standing in your way is yourself. Just putting in the effort without achievement was effort wasted & unacceptable because the psyche was, you are the only one standing in your way of achieving Excellency, not any oppressive white man. I was never taught that I was part of the oppressed, therefore the idea of feeling oppressed is foreign to me. For Africans, the issue was not race, but rather education & class - things that could be changed & achieved with hard work, but race is something that you can never change. I always cringe whenever I hear the word "Nigger" used, knowing that it is derogatory regardless of who uses it. It was unacceptable in my African- African-American household because it represented the lowest of the low person who is not seen as a full human being, a complete disrespect & disregard for who I am as a human being, an African & my achievements. There was no way I could see the word "nigger" & its definition glossed & beautified away from what it really stood for. The glossy packaging of the word could never take away from or glorify its true substance to me.

To most African parents, anything short of a doctor, engineer, lawyer, or president is just achieving good, this is the psyche that most African parents instill in their African-American ,African European, African-Caribbean, African-Latino, African-Middle Eastern & African-Asian children. Good was expected with Excellency as the goal. Barack Obama was never an impossibility to me because he had clearly put in the work for a mission toward Excellency, whereas many others had not, but I also do recognize that the timing was in his favor. His upbringing & the idea or ideal of an African intellectual father in the vein of Kenyatta, Nkrumah, Toure & Mandela who mobilized nations toward independence, self-reliance & mental freedom, aided in a limitless mindset where nothing was impossible with education, service & putting in the hard work, not even being the president of the nation of your birth! This is a great lesson on the responsibility of parents in the psyche development of their children.

I had a conversation with my cousin on this same subject- as he told me stories of Black American kids in his childhood years teasing him about being African, while the White kids were intrigued by his African heritage & would engage him in conversation wanting to learn everything about it. This was my exact same experience & the experience of many other 1st generation African-Americans & Africans in the US . This was another experience of the difference in psyche. For the Black American kids who teased us, Africa was a dirty place of slaves, while for the White kids, Africa was exotic Zanzibar & Casablanca!

As my cousin went on to wax poetic about how he didn't understand how Black Americans can be in this country for so long & could stay on welfare generation after generation, while he could not imagine the idea of being on welfare & being looked at as a beggar because in Ghana there was never any welfare & his parents came here with nothing & were able to never be on welfare even thru the hardest of times. He was upset that while he has to go & get a second job just to make ends meet in order to take care of his daughter - he watches people in his local grocery store who have more expensive clothes than him with two shopping carts loaded with food, paid for by his taxpayer funded welfare, while they look down on him for not having the latest designer duds & having to take a second job at a sporting goods store to supplement his corporate job. This sounded to me like what many White people say, many Africans feel & also say behind closed doors , & what his upbringing amongst Africans & White people who praised his Africanness taught. This goes right back to the psyche we are placed in as children. If you are told no matter how hard you work, your achievements are limited because of race, which you can never change, then the focus is on the things you can change & have control of like dressing up the race with all the bells & whistles in a sense of pride for the outward beautification of race, in attempts to change the psyche & view of others & yourself in terms of race. It is hard to value putting in the hard work when you think your one limitation is the one thing you can not change, even if you are Michael Jackson!

For my cousin, race & outward beautification wasn't a factor because the real deal & rewards for him came thru putting in the work & being respected for doing so. His limitations rested solely with him as a man who knew his responsibility in having to provide for his child & putting in the hard work to achieve his goal of Excellency. To him the pride came in putting in the work & the limitless outcomes it would bring. This is the difference in psyche that without understanding separates us from our common history. I thought back to a very eye opening moment that I had while visiting Ghana. My aunt & I were in the car having a conversation about the United States as she proceed to tell me how she felt so bad for Black Americans & what happened to them during slavery; while the view right behind us was the slave dungeons of Cape Coast Castle-the point of no return for the descendants, brothers & sisters who she is so detached from & feeling sorry for. All I could think was Wow! Here she is with less economic wealth, less opportunities in the land of the ancestors whose children she feels sorry for, who in turn would feel sorry for her for living in conditions that they would consider poverty. Yet she is raising sons who are told they are descendants of kings & queens , & that their only limitation in life is themselves & the amount of work they put in; while her brothers & sisters whose ancestry started on the same side of the Atlantic are being told they are niggers, descendants of slaves & that the one thing they can not change , race, is their ultimate limitation no matter how much work they put in. This to me was a profound moment in understanding how psyche could become the death of Hope & Forward Movement.

I also thought back to my African-American friend who upon his return from South Africa, told me how he could not believe the forgiveness of South Africans for their White South African oppressors within a short period of freedom from Apartheid & how they all just saw themselves as South Africans, not Black South Africans or White South Africans. At first I thought, Exactly! I am glad you were able to see it & possibly understand my African African-American point of view toward the crutch of "The White man is my oppressor, who represents my limitations" mindset. I also came to recognize that whereas, South Africans actually had a reconciliation period focused on their respect, pride & dignity with unification & inclusion of what will become the rebuilding of their nation; African-Americans haven't really had that moment until Barack Obama!