Welcome to The Sankofa Projects blogspot!!!
"In the spirit of SANKOFA...Reach Back and Fetch your history & your culture so that you will take purposeful steps into the future."
~ Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder & Executive Director
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Friday, June 15, 2012
Thank you to my mother, Cecelia White Pittman for leading by example and showing me the importance of touching your roots, my father,Carlton Pittman the griot-for sharing funny and compelling stories from his childhood about my grandparents and the Africans who came to visit them, my sister, Dr. Carlane Pittman Hampton, my PR, media person extraordinaire-who has supported all my passions, my Bro in law Adonis Hampton, for giving me contacts for local papers, my sistah and dear friend, Deborah Wright my kindred -we share a love for everything African and who inspired me to create Remembrance in Virginia based on her 15 years as one of the founders of Remembrance in South Carolina, the Remembrance Committee: Ronald Orme,thank you for your friendship and support all these years and all the stages of my life,thank you for the gifts of ice and leading the way as the best clean up crew ever, Latania Brock dear fg and friend always ready hear new ideas and support me through them-thank you for the umbrella to shade us,John and Jerrie Spruce, a beautiful couple committed to our culture and their beautiful daughter, thank you for the Downing Gross meeting room, reading the excerpts at the ceremony,thank you for your flexibility and being in the moment, and for those gifts of cowrie and candle, Sunshine Allison and her dancers, Karah Churmusi, Ericka Mitchell and Nikkitta Simpson for evoking strength and power in their performance, Sistah Wanda Sabir for gathering all those involved in the Remembrance together on the air at one time, Dr. Chenzira of Per Ankh University for your support and a wonderful radio interview-we are kindred for sure, Professor Artisia Green of the College of William and Mary-thank you for sharing your gift of theatrics with us- your powerful performance of "Crossing a Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements" brilliantly written by Rev. Dr. Joanne M. Braxton of the Middle Passage Project at the College of William stirred up such emotion and thanks to the former student who assisted you, thank you to Rev. Dr. Braxton for the generous gift of the sage you sent so you could be with us in spirit, I appreciate your kindness and for sharing your play with us at this sacred ceremony and sharing this event with others, to Priest Ogunjimi who named the "Tree of Remembrance"and taught us all that day, for leading us with a beautiful and emotional libation with Awo Baba Adeyemi, Drummer Brother Larry Gibson aka GIP who greeted me with open arms from the start-we are kindred and invited Drummer Walker to drum and be with us, Ventia Benitez for sending the gift of the Proclamation for me to read from President Barack Obama citing January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, to my family Tom and Daphanie Thomas for surprising me by coming to support me -you brought me to tears, Dr. Colita Fairfax who shared the Remembrance information with Calvin Pearson and members of Project 1619 so they could attend, Anita Harrell of the Weyanoke Association for generously providing me with contacts in the cultural community, to Dr. Chon Glover who counseled me, gave great advice like "you should start a blog;)", I listened Chon thank you for your friendship, hugs, love and reminding me it is "when not if!", to Dr. Marilyn Mobley who was my teacher then became my Aquarian sistah friend, I have grown up with you and we have shared many moments, thank you for your prayers and believing in me teacher of "Both and", to Dr. Michael Blakey- thank you for your support, advice, listening ear and for leading us through the amazing journey of the New York African Burial Ground Project where my commitment and link to the ancestors was formed, to Jenn y Michael, Mano, Kianna, Dana, Alliot,lil sis Ayaba, Rula,Sharon,my sistahs and brothers- thank you for your support,love, encouragement and friendship,to my families Mama Jones and Mr. Clarence for your love and encouragement and Sara and Steve Credito(MD) for the love and support you all are family to me, my surrogate, Mrs. Joan T. Gibbs, you saw me when others didn't and supported me in all ways, to Uncle Bruce and Aunt Marlene for the love you've shown my family for the past 60 years and for the love and support you show, for always making time for our boys, to my best friend of 22 years Candice Ferreira for her unconditional love and support and encouraging me pursuing my passions "like a tree in da wind", Doug Jones my brother and brilliant writer who is the whisper in my ear, praying with me-nudging me me forward, to my darling sons who gave me the quiet time, most days - bless their active minds and souls and the space to work on this program, for my husband and partner of almost 11 years Dr. James T. Walke, thank you for your support and unconditional love, for seeing me with both eyes open and giving me the room to spread my wings. Je t'aime.
To my African Ancestors who paved the way, some who never made it off the ships alive, who lay in the watery grave of the Atlantic, for those who fought, resisted, struggled, and those who survived, on whose shoulders I stand, I am indebted to you and eternally grateful. I pray this Remembrance begins the healing that we all need.