Welcome to The Sankofa Projects blogspot!!!

"In the spirit of Sankofa, reach back and fetch your history
and your culture so that you will take purposeful steps into the future."
~ Chadra Pittman Walke

For more info or to schedule a program contact us:

757-317-0001

thesankofaprojects@gmail.com



Thursday, November 28, 2013

Age Appropriate honesty

I am grateful for this life, my and your health, my family and wonderful friends who feel like family, sunsets and rainy days and for the joie de vivre I feel each and every day. In the spirit of being thankful, which I am--I always feel a bit peculiar on this holiday as I always try to imagine what it felt like for my Native ancestors during this time in history. Having young children, I am cognizant of the romanticized version of the story which they are often taught which is why my boys always get an addendum to their school lessons. I choose "age appropriate" honesty with my children and teach them about how brave our ancestors were in spite of it all. love and gratitude

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Shifting the Blame: The Need for Critical Thinking around Slavery

“Don’t be afraid to say that Africans were sold into slavery by Africans.” is what a member shared at a recent meeting I attended. I was perplexed in that meeting and still am today as to why would one make such a declaration. I ask that we consider “in what context are we making this statement, to whom are we making it and for what reason?” No one denies that Africans were involved in the trade however, broad sweeping statements like these and the recent article by Dr. Henry Louis Gates,(see link for article below) which seek to absolve Europeans of their involvement in slavery, are serving what purpose? It seems to me that this is merely a shifting of the blame and we are losing sight of the overall horror and tragedy of this “peculiar institution.” According to the United Nations, the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade or the Middle Passage has been documented as “the largest forced migration in history, and incontrovertibly one of the most inhumane.” We know that American chattel slavery was an evil chapter in our global history which ripped families apart, devastated a continent while laying the foundation for wealth in countries across the globe as Eric Williams points out in his brilliant work, Capitalism and Slavery. What about the enormous economic gains which benefited every country/continent involved except Africa, the distribution of power and the role "race" played in the trade? Can we merely say Africans sold other Africans without contextualizing this further? On a side note, but relevant to this topic, some scholars will argue that the historical record shows that "Free Blacks/Africans owned others Africans during slavery.” However, it was not that simple. Many of these “Free Black slave owners” were purchasing the freedom of their loved ones and family members. Here in lies the problem with narration. These "Free blacks" were considered "slave owners" in the historical record but their relationships were familial not bound by a racist based perpetual system. As one committed to honoring and remembering my ancestors and in the spirit of balance, I offer another perspective for you to consider. This article “ Henry Louis Gates is Wrong about African Involvement in the Slave Trade was written by Dr. Molefi Kete Asante in 2010. Dr. Asante is the Chair of African American Studies at Temple University and is considered one of the most distinguished contemporary scholars. We must do more than shift the blame and we must begin to think critically about issues around slavery. We can not absolve nor justify slavery. Click here: Henry Louis Gates is Wrong about African Involvement in the Slave Trade | Dr. Molefi Kete Asante Gates article: http://hiphopandpolitics.com/2010/04/23/henry-louis-gates-pens-article-absolving-white-people-for-slavery-wants-us-to-blame-africans/

Sunday, September 8, 2013

My love letter to Princess Tiana...

This is my love letter to Tiana (a little girl in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was denied entry in school because of her hair. According to the Deborah Brown Community School, her locks were considered "unacceptable" and against school guidelines. The administrators went as far to say her hair locks were considered a "distraction") The policy states that “Hairstyles such as dreadlocks, afros, mohawks and other faddish styles are unacceptable.” I quote Dr. Yaba Blay who states that "dreadlocks, afros, and mohwaks are our original hairstyles and our peple have been wearing them since the beginning of time! Go Dr. Blay!! (I believe 'our' to denote African and Native people based on the images in her beautiful Locs of love creation of images and letters in support of Tiana) I felt a need to speak out because I stand up against injustice and discrimination at every turn. I also believe that "Silence is the voice of complicity." as Poet, Activist, Author, Poet and now Ancestor Queen Mother Audre Lorde said. This is more than just a story about a little girls hair. I see this as a subtle or maybe not too subtle attack on our young girls of African descent and how they express themselves culturally. This ban against her hair and traditional styles worn by people of African descent shows a deep rooted disrespect and denial of expression for the ways people of African descent show up in the world. I don't buy into the system that places one type of beauty over another. We know that historically, This ban against her hair and traditional styles worn by people of African descent shows a deep rooted disrespect and denial of expression for the ways black women and women of African descent show up in the world. Historically, the standard of beauty globally for women has been European based; placing any characteristics which do not fit into that model as less desirable and unappealing. Now yes, there are a few models of African descent who have broken through the European standard but they are the exception not the rule and at best they are often exocticized. Whether it is the hair, complexion, body shapes of African women (look at the recent Miley Cyrus VMA video gestures toward black women's posterior and historically what was done to Sarah Baartman)to see the exploitation of women of African descent. Globally women are lightening and bleaching their skin and the ubiquitous sale hair weaves as examples of the desire to fit the European/Western standard of beauty. One can look at the rise of some Asian women who are getting double eyelid surgery to have Western eyes.(http://culturevisuelle.org/introtovc/archives/606) No judgement here, however we must look at how damaging it is when we are bombarded with images that are imbalanced and place one standard of beauty ABOVE all others. Look at what women and girls are doing to themselves worldwide. It is tragic. So when a little 7 year old girl wears her hair in it's natural state and embraces her natural beauty, what happens? She is told her hair is unacceptable, ugly, a distraction. It is pretty obvious to see that her school has bought into and through its guidelines is perpetuating a racist and ethnocentric model of beauty and that is WRONG! I find this ban against locks just as ludicrous as banning male Scottish students from wearing kilts because the standard in America is that men "typically" don't wear skirts. How can an institution, private school or not, deny a student their right of self expression and ban them from identifying with their cultural heritage. Note to the Deborah Brown Community School is that when you have guidelines which target a particular group (ethnic, sexual orientation, gender, religious,or other) and you deny them entry based on who they are--that is discrimination!! This school is targeting hairstyles which are typically worn by people of African descent. Why are afros, braids, mohawks and locks considered unacceptable yet others hairstyles are not? What is the larger message this school is perpetuating? Whether it is our hair or our physical bodies, the compelling issue which demands our attention is that OUR girls(and boys) and culture are under attack and this has got to stop!! All cultures should be respected and valued and should have the freedom of self expression. We are all beautiful! Dear Tiana, You are a beautiful, smart little girl! You, my beloved are a princess and come from a great line of Queens and majestic women of the continent of Africa, which is known as the cradle of civilization. I was so happy to see the outpouring of love being extended your way from all these beautiful women of African descent who spoke up to support you. I,too, felt a need to join the chorus of voices and write to you this letter filled with love. Your hair is beautiful, regal, rooted in Africa, the mother of all civilization. Your hair represents a rich culture and tradition and is UNIQUELY yours!!! I understand your pain as I have been natural for 19 years and have had every traditional African style, braids, locks, Afro, cornrows. I too have had to face ignorance and deal with comments like people telling me that "having locks messed up at pretty face" and asking me "why would I intentionally try to make my hair nappy?"As if having nappy hair is a bad thing. Well, I say nappy hair is beautiful. And if there is such a thing as good hair, I believe that nappy hair qualifies as GOOD hair. It is strong and made up of tight coils and is simply one texture to many different types of hair. Your hair grows out of your head and is perfect as you are my love. So I understand how painful it can be. The reality is that no one has the right to define our beauty for us except us, only us!! I think your parents are amazing and taking you out of that school w great decision. Your school should be more concerned with what you are learning than the way you choose to wear your hair. And you my love are a great student in school. You recognize the importance of education. These negative comments are mere distractions from what is really important. Leader and activist Marcus Garvey once said, "Remove the kinks from your brain, not from your hair." He too recognized the beauty of our tight coils. Princess Tiana...Love the skin you are in, love your hair despite what the world tells you about you. You are beautiful and smart and a gift to the world! I support you Tiana and all the other little girls who are force fed images of beauty that look nothing like themselves. Be proud and love your hair and the skin you are in. You come from GREATNESS and a beautiful culture of people! With Love, Chadra Pittman Walke #TeamILovemyhairandtheskinIamin!! Note to ALL: The "hair shaming" has to stop and being a private school does not give you a pass to discriminate. Note to Deborah Brown Community School: If you target one specific ethnic group and call hairstyles typically worn by this culture of people "unacceptable"- that is considered DISCRIMINATION! I am so proud of my these women who have come forth to raise their voices and shed an abundance of love to encourage Tiana. Melissa Harris Perry spoke up to defend Tiana. Another reason I love MHP... http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/07/to-a-black-girl-whose-hair-was-deemed-unacceptable/ Thank you Mano Reza Kashef for the MHP clip. Thank you Maat Free for this image sis <3 Queen Thank you Linda Holmes for the clip from Dr.Yaba Blay who created a care package for Tiana. http://issuu.com/yabablay/docs/for_tiana_a_care_package__1_/129?e=3379385%2F4743549

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2nd Annual International Day of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach, Hampton Virginia by Chadra Pittman Walke

The tradition of Remembrance seeks to honor the millions of African men, women and children who perished during the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade. Remembrance 2013 was a beautiful outpouring of the diversity of our Hampton community and many others who traveled from Ohio, North Carolina, Richmond, Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Maryland to remember with us. The 175 people who gathered at Buckroe Beach came to honor these ancestors , recognize the importance of our shared history and acknowledge the need to heal from the wounds of our collective past. The sky held back the rain and we were spared from the pending storm which was looming above our heads. Partners for this year’s event were: Project 1619, Inc., the Contraband Historical Society, Hampton Parks and Recreation and the Hampton History Museum. The participants on the program gave freely of their time and talents to pay tribute and celebrate these ancestors. The overwhelming sentiment was that Remembrance was cathartic, educational, spiritual, celebratory filled with cultural expressions which honored whose final resting place became the choppy waters of the Atlantic Ocean. For a second year in row, Remembrance connected the Commonwealth of Virginia with this International movement of healing and remembrance as we simultaneously poured a powerful and moving communal libation. We poured with South Carolina, New York, Seattle, Washington, Panama and Ghana, West Africa as we are one community remembering our past, our history and the lives of our ancestors. The city of Hampton is where enslavement began in 1619 with the first "20 and odd" Africans landing at Point Comfort, now Fort Monroe and Fort Monroe became known as "Freedom's Fortress" with thousands of enslaved Africans seeking freedom during the Civil war and became known as "Contrabands of War". Remembrance in Hampton is incredibly significant as this is the place where slavery began in North America. Remembrance seeks to heal from that painful past and preserve the memory of those who perished during the Transatlantic voyage. We are doing as Toni Cade Bambara suggested many years ago- "we are tapping into that ancestral presence" in the waters and we do this in Remembrance of them with honor, respect and love!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day of Remembrance...

Hampton Remembers: 2nd Annual International Ritual of Remembrance Ceremony at Buckroe Beach On Saturday, June 8, 2013, The Sankofa Projects will host its 2nd Annual International Ritual of Remembrance ceremony on Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA from 11:00am - 1:00pm. The location of the ceremony will be to the far left of the main stage and beach front at North 1st and Pilot Avenue. The tradition of Remembrance honors and pays tribute to the millions of African, men, women and children who perished during the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade. For the past 23 years, annually on the second Saturday in June, Tributes to the Ancestors/Remembrance ceremonies have occurred in cities throughout the United States and across the globe. A communal libation (spiritual pouring of water) occurs at 12:00 noon simultaneously in Charleston, South Carolina; Brooklyn, New York; Hampton, Virginia; Florida and California, Seattle, Washington and St. Croix, Virgin Islands and internationally in Ghana, West Africa and Portobelo, Panama. Again this year, the traditional libation will be performed by Baba Ifalade of Ile Nago at Buckroe Beach. Join us for a day of healing as we gather around the “Tree of Remembrance”, at the water and on the beach for reflections, drumming, spoken word, a traditional libation and expressions of cultural traditions and prayers. Distinguished guest speaker will be the Honorable Dr. Mary T. Christian, Former House of Delegates. Historical Presentations by Calvin Pearson of Project 1619, Inc., Dance performances by Afro-Cuban Dancer Ife Michelle and The Ubuntu Dance Collective Children directed by Founder, Sunshine Allison. Dr. Joanne M. Braxton, Founder of the Middle Passage Project at the College of William and Mary will read from her play, “Crossing a Deep River: A Ritual Drama in Three Movements”, Ms. Maat Free, Guardian of African Ancestral Remembrance in Richmond, VA will lead our journey through “The Forest of Family Trees”, Presentation given by Author Linda Holmes, Spoken word by Poets LaShawne Bryant and Marisa Poulson and Singer/Songwriter Narissa Bond will perform. “Recognizing the historical significance of Virginia as the birthplace of slavery in America, I knew we had to begin this tradition of Remembrance in the Commonwealth and in the city of Hampton in particular. Hampton is quite unique as it sits on both ends of the spectrum with regards to enslavement and the pursuit of freedom in America. From the arrival of the first ‘20 and odd’ Africans to Point Comfort in 1619 to the ‘Contraband decision’, the beginning and what would become the end of slavery occurred in Hampton.” states Chadra Pittman Walke, Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects; creator of National and International Ritual of Remembrance ceremonies. This event is free and the public is welcome to observe. We ask attendees to wear white clothing, bring beach chairs and umbrellas to shade you. You may bring fresh flowers for the offering. Partners for this year’s ceremony are Project 1619, Inc., the Contraband Historical Society, Hampton Parks and Recreation and the Hampton History Museum. For more information, contact Chadra Pittman Walke of The Sankofa Projects at chadrapw@gmail.com or 757-816-1579. ###

2nd Annual International Ritual of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach- Hampton Virginia on June 8th 11-1pm

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ritual of Remembrance created for Contraband Day, Saturday, May 25, 2013

National Park Service News Release For Immediate Release: May 13, 2013 Contacts: Eola Dance, National Park Service, eola_dance@nps.gov, 757-722-3678 Phyllis Terrell, Fort Monroe Authority, pterrell@fmauthority.org, 757-251-2754 Fort Monroe to Commemorate the “Contraband Decision” and “Contrabands” on the Road to Emancipation Fort Monroe, VA – In recognition of the 152nd Anniversary of the “Contraband Decision” the National Park Service, Fort Monroe Authority, Hampton Department of Parks and Recreation, Contraband Historical Society, and Project 1619 are sponsoring a day of commemorative events May 25, 2013, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Join us at the Fort Monroe Theatre at 10:00 am for the Contraband Ritual of Remembrance & Opening Ceremony, immediately followed by the play Battle from Darkness to Light: Mary Peake First Teacher of the Freed People; and hourly living history walking tours of the historic fort leaving from Cannon Park at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. All events are free and open to the public. Free parking available onsite. Please respect residents and do not park in reserved spaces. Bring a picnic basket and spend the day enjoying all that Fort Monroe has to offer. About the Program– This day of commemorative events captures the complexity of Civil War history at Fort Monroe and explores the individual stories that help history come alive; Superintendent Talken-Spaulding stated “the impact of General Benjamin Butler’s “Contraband Decision” and the experiences of freedom seekers in the “Contraband,” community represents a key paradigm shift in Civil War history that forever changed the realities of slavery and freedom in the United States; we hope that you will join us and investigate our Nation’s history at Fort Monroe.” 10:00 am at the Fort Monroe Theatre, 42 Tidball Rd, Hampton, VA 23651, participate in the Contraband Ritual of Remembrance, orchestrated by Sankofa Projects, giving honor to all ancestors who paved the way for us today. This opportunity for reflection and reconciliation includes ancestral drumming and a pouring of libations. 11:00 am at the Fort Monroe Theatre, witness the City of Hampton’s Urban Performing Arts production Battle from Darkness to Light: Mary Peake First Teacher of the Freed People; theatre goers will be treated to this stage play that honors the life of Mary Peake and tells the story of two fictious enslaved mothers who made the brave journey to the contraband camp at Fortress Monroe. The play was written by local playwright, Marie St.Clair and stars the Inner-tainer Theatre Troupe and the music of the Community Spirit Vocal Ensemble, directed by Debra Petteway. 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm Cannon Park, the intersection of Ingalls & Ruckman Rd. just before Main Gate, join us for living history walking tours at the top of each hour as we follow the presumed footsteps of freedom seekers like Martha Ann Fields as portrayed by Ajena Rogers, decedent of the Fields family; consider the politics and consequences of Gen. Benjamin Butler’s “Contraband Decision” at Quarters #1, presented by Tony Gabriele of the Contraband Historical Society; and visit the Algernourne Oak, a living witness to over 400 years of history including the abbreviated assignment of Harriett Tubman to Fort Monroe performance by distinguished interpreter Charmaine Crowell-White. Brief History of the “Contraband Decision” – As the American Civil War commenced and Virginia’s citizens ratified the state’s secession ordinance on May 23, 1861, three enslaved men known to us today as Frank Baker, Sheppard Mallory, and James Townsend fled to Union held Fort Monroe. Major General Benjamin Butler having arrived to his appointment just days prior, was confronted by the men, Butler questioned returning the men to bondage as required by the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 or allowing them sanctuary. Butler reasoned Virginia was no longer part of the United States and therefore the 1850 law did not apply. Further, these enslaved men were being used against the nation and could be retained as “contraband of war.” The news of refuge at Fort Monroe spread quickly and by the end of July 900 freedom seekers; men, women, and children, found their way to Fort Monroe. By their brave actions this powerful event became known as the pivotal “Contraband Decision” and the fort was christened “Freedom’s Fortress”. As the “contraband” community out grew the fort, Gen. Butler authorized the building of the “Grand Contraband Camp” in an abandoned area of Hampton. Over the course of time, more than 10,000 freedom seekers found their way to Freedom’s Fortress and camps in the area leading up to the close of the war in 1865. Like freedom seeker James Apostles Field, who escaped to Fort Monroe in 1862 and was later met by his mother Martha Ann Fields and siblings in 1864. In response to the growing community, the American Missionary Association established schools, hiring Mary Smith Peake in 1861 leading to the establishment of Hampton Normal School, known today, as Hampton University. The need for medical attention led to the recruitment of Harriet Tubman as the head matron of the hospital for African Americans and United States Colored Troops; though she only remained for a few short months due to false promises and poor conditions. The multi-faceted history of Fort Monroe spans over 400 years. Included in the history of the fort, also known as Point Comfort, is the arrival of the first Africans brought to the English colonies. As pointed out in the Presidential Proclamation establishing the National Monument, this “arch of slavery” distinguishes Fort Monroe as witness to the beginning and end of slavery in America. Three years after the “Contraband Decision” the Union supported the enlistment of black regiments resulting in the formation of the USCT, further the decision was a forerunner to President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, and the ratiļ¬cation of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, in 1865 abolishing slavery in the United States. www.nps.gov -- Chadra Pittman Walke Mother ~ Anthropologist ~ Writer ~ Advocate Founder, COLLAGE www.facebook.com/groups/pariahinthe757 Founder, The Sankofa Projects www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com www.facebook.com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hampton First at Fort Monroe

Hampton First at Point Comfort Sunday, April 28 2-3:30 pm At the gazebo next to The Chamberlin at Fort Monroe Join us to recognize native inhabitants, European settlers who arrived in 1607, and enslaved Africans brought to the New World in 1619 whose melding of cultures began what is now Hampton, and whose impact and legacy pervades our society today. Opening Remarks George Wallace Vice Mayor, City of Hampton Gospel Selections Brenda D.Tucker (Doswell) Soprano Soloist Speakers Cassandra L. Newby-Alexander, Ph.D. Professor of History Norfolk State University Project 1619 Mike Cobb Curator, Hampton History Museum Deanna Beacham American Indian Program Manager National Park Service, Chesapeake Bay Chadra Pittman Walke The Sankofa Projects Closing Ceremony Weyanoke Association for Red-Black Culture Traditional Music & Dance

Monday, March 25, 2013

Ancestors...the birth of one-the passing of another

Today March 25th is the birthday/born day of Toni Cade Bambara author, activist, warrior in the feminist movement, who expanded meaning and understanding to the particular issues affecting women of African descent reflected in her great work, "The Black Woman". Today March 25th, I learned that Chinua Achebe, author of famous work "Things Fall Apart" transitioned at 82 years old. Both Bamabara and Achebe influenced my life and work. I speak their words often, in varied places. In doing so, I feel I am honoring them and their legacy. I will add Achebe's name to names of the ancestors I will recite at the Ritual of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach June 8th. "Until the lions have their historians, tales of the hunt will always glorfy the hunter." Chinua Achebe "let us tap into that ancestral presence in the waters." Bambara ~~~ Ashe and bless you both!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance -- January 26, 2013

Project 1619 Celebrates Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary on January 26 --Events to be held at Hampton History Museum and Emancipation Oak-- Hampton, VA-On January 26, Project 1619 Inc., the Contraband Historical Society, and The Sankofa Projects will sponsor an Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance with two very special events commemorating the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation. “Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not free any Africans who were enslaved, the Proclamation has become one of the most important documents in America’s history,” said Project 1619 Inc. Founder Calvin Pearson. Beginning at Noon, the Hampton History Museum (120 Old Hampton Lane Hampton VA 23669) will host a panel discussion on the cause and effects of the Emancipation Proclamation. Panelists include Dr. William Wiggins, Professor and Historian of African Culture and Politics; Professor Robert Watson, Hampton University History Department; and Dr. Cassandra Newby-Alexander, History Professor at Norfolk State University. In addition to the panel discussion, there will be an audience discussion on how the Contrabands of War at Fortress Freedom (Fort Monroe) helped General Benjamin Butler and President Lincoln come to the conclusion that freeing the Enslaved Africans would help save the Union. At 2:00 p.m., the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance concludes with a Ritual of Remembrance ceremony at Emancipation Oak (Emancipation Drive, on the campus of Hampton University). Sankofa Projects Founder Chadra Pittman Walke will coordinate an Emancipation ritual that includes a prayer of invocation by Dr. Joanne M. Braxton, Founder and Director of the Middle Passage Project at the College of William and Mary; a drum call to the ancestors; and a Ritual of Remembrance ceremony. Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance Saturday, January 26 Noon Panel Discussion on the Cause and Effects of the Emancipation Proclamation/Audience Disussion Location: Hampton History Museum 2:00 p.m. Ritual of Remembrance ceremony Location: Emancipation Oak on the Campus of Hampton Unviersity For more information on the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance, contact Calvin Pearson at 757/380-1319. Additional information can be found at www.project1619.org. Event partners for the Emancipation Proclamation Day of Remembrance include National Juneteenth Observance Foundation and Zel Technologies. Project 1619 Inc. is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote Hampton’s rich African American history. The organization is also raising funds to construct a National Monument at Fort Monroe by 2019 to honor and remember the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans brought to North America on English occupied territory at Point Comfort in 1619. The Contraband Historical Society is an organization of concerned citizens whose mission is to research, preserve, and promote the history, legacy, and contributions of the enslaved Africans, who were considered “Contraband of War.” Three enslaved Africans, Shepherd Mallory, Frank Baker, and James Townsend appeared before Major General Benjamin F. Butler, Post Commander of Fortress Monroe. Major General Butler determined them to be “Contraband of War,” since the Southerners referred to them as property. These three men were liberated on May 24, 1861 at Fortress Monroe, Virginia by Commanding Officer Major General Benjamin F. Butler. Butler’s far-reaching gesture prompted thousands of Africans to run to Hampton to Fort Monroe to get behind Union lines and join in the Union’s war effort in exchange for their liberation. As a result, Fort Monroe became known as “Freedom’s Fortress”. The Sankofa Projects is an organization that hosts cultural and educational programs centered on the African Diaspora and creates national and International Rituals of Remembrance ceremonies. These Rituals of Remembrance ceremonies honor the millions of African men, women, and children who perished during the Trans-Atlantic enslavement trade. The Sankofa Project acts as a liaison between the grass roots and the academic community and works to ensure that the cultural influences and contributions which Africans made to the United States and across the globe are reflected in the historical record. Partially bordered by the Hampton Roads harbor and Chesapeake Bay, Hampton, with the 344,000 sq. ft. Hampton Roads Convention Center, is located in the center of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area. Hampton is the site of America's first continuous English-speaking settlement and is home to such visitor attractions as the Virginia Air & Space Center and Riverside IMAX ® Theater, Hampton History Museum, harbor tours and cruises, Hampton University Museum, Fort Monroe, award-winning Hampton Coliseum, The American Theatre, among others. From the CVB

January 26, 2013 Event will commemorate the 150th Year Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 2013 marked the 150 year anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Project 1619, Inc., the Contraband Historical Society and The Sankofa Projects have come together to create an event to mark this momentous occassion. Join us on Saturday, January 26th at 12:00 noon for a panel discussion at the Hampton History Museum and at 2:00pm for a Ritual of Remembrance at the Emancipation Tree at Hampton Univeristy. Join us and celebrate this Sesquicentennial in American history. peace, love and equality...Chadra

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Gift of the New Year...Random acts of kindness

The Gift of the New Year!!! So back in September I attended a wedding in Baltimore in a old Catholic Church. I sat in the pew in awe of the beautiful multicultural images of Jesus and bible folk on the walls and ceiling. The priest was an older Irish man whose church was filled with brown images all over the walls. I had never seen anything like this before as I grew up in a church where the images of God looked nothing like me. It is not often that I have seen brown images in a religious context displayed in this way. The sermon that the priest gave moved me to tears and laughter... So much so that I went up to him afterwards and thanked him for his words. I have him my business card as I always do with people I feel an affinity with. Months pass and on the first day of this new year I receive a note in the mail from Father Miller thanking me for thanking him that day. The crazy part is that he had been trying to reach me since Sept and I had closed my post office box. He kept trying and the envelope finally arrived to my home. Moral of the story... You never know by whom your heart will be touched, you never know how what you say will resonate with someone else, you should never let your preconceived notions about people,cultures or religion be barriers. I found in Priest Miller a kindness and sincerity that reminds me of to keep my heart open to the goodness out there...cause there is a lot of good!!! ♥

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

150th Year celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation

January 1, 2013 marked the 150 year anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. The US Postal Service has created a stamp to honor this historic year. Stay tuned for an upcoming event being planned by Project 1619, The Contraband Historical Society and The Sankofa Projects to celebrate this Sesquicentennial. peace, love and equality...Chadra