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"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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Monday, October 8, 2012

Reflections on the 1619 Conference by Dr. Colita Nichols Fairfax

It is always profoundly important that we consider the political impact of ANY conversation that is held about African people. I attended the 1619 conference at NSU. Of course I support the dialogue at a campus where I labor as a professor. It is important that our institutions sponsor such discourses. However, we have to be clear that what didn't happen is that there was not a paradigm shift about the presence of African people in British North America. The conversation is stuck on the importance of Jamestown, without any analysis as to the role of Point Comfort, where they disembarked the ship White Lion. The conversation is stuck on exactly where they went in various parts of Virginia. Whereas Dr. Linda Heywood's presentation on Njinga was spirited and necessary, the connection between the rich cultures of Angola that was transferred to Hampton didn't happen. It is clear that Jamestown is very invested in maintaining the British American African narrative. Politically and economically, Jamestown needs to retain that they are the sole birthplace presence of Blacks in America. Politically this justifies their role in American history, and who dares challenge it? I do. And so should all who are interested in African agency and African historiography that creates paradigms that do not serve us whatsoever. Whatsoever.

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