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Why Sankofa?

The concept of “Sankofa” is derived from King Adinkera of the Akan people of West Africa. “Sankofa” is expressed in the Akan language asSankofa bird “se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenki.” Literally translated, this 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.

Visually and symbolically, “Sankofa” is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth. This ties with our motto: “In order to understand our present and ensure our future, we must know our past.”


https://www.uis.edu/africanamericanstudies/students/sankofa/