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, Founder & Executive Director

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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