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



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Sankofa Projects on Round Robin

From NASA to the Moon to the White House- Dr. Katherine G. Johnson honored at the White House

NASA Pioneer and NASA Mathematician, Dr. Katherine G. Johnson was awared the 2015 Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama yesterday, November 24th at the White House. Dr. Johnson broke racial and gender barriers by being among the first African Americans and women to work at NASA in 1953. Dr. Johnson worked as a Mathematician and was known as a "Human Computer" when computers wore skirts. She is reponsible for every major space flight including calculating Alan Shepard's orbit of the Earth in 1961, which put the first American in Space and Apollo 13's Flight to the Moon in 1969 putting the First man on the Moon. It is said that Neil Armstrong specifically asked for Dr. Johnson to calculate the trajectory to the moon because her calculations were so precise. She is a West Va Native and a life Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.(notice her Kelly green AKA blanket on her lap) Dr. Johnson is a beautiful human being and because of her....we can. Dr. Johnson is sitting next to Willie Mays who also received an award. Thank you Dr. Johnson for inspiring us to reach for the stars and also the moon. #AmericanHistoryMade ‪‬

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Not FORGIVEN

NO, I don't forgive you for the thievery, for forging my name for the sake of Unity, for raping the girls in Nigeria, for killing Travyon and Eric and Rekia and Tamir, and Amadou and Eleanor and Sandra, for shooting down the loving and prayer filled church members of the AME church in Charleston, you are not forgiven for disrespecting the ancestors, for disrespecting the culture, NOT forgiven for slavery, NOT forgiven for rescinding on our 40 acres and a mule, not forgiven for redlining, lynchings, floggings, burning at the stake, for gentrification, not forgiven for Wounded Knee, the Holocaust, for appropriation, for Tuskegee, for Jim Crow, for the rapes and experimentation on African women, for selling the children, not forgiven for Ota Benga and the one you called Hottentot-- you are not forgiven for sitting comfortably in your privilege while people are dying. Why have you not raised your voice against the injustices against the humans you SEE everyday in your communities and cities. I am not interested in holding hands with you while you sing "Amazing Grace." I don't do that. I have work to do so move aside if you are not willing to get your hands dirty and fight the good fight. It will be worth it- I assure you- for all of our sakes. I have no time for colored meetings or tea parties or ignoring the pink elephant in the room. There is work to be done and I am committed to creating a safer, more humane, more loving world for my children and the other babies whom you ignore. They and the elders are my focus. So I have dried my tears and in the words of my Ancestor and Queen Mother Zora Neale Hurston, "No, I do not weep at the world. I'm too busy sharpening my oyster knife."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PRIVILEGE...

So by now everyone is basking in the joy of Viola Davis and her win. SO PROUD of her for mastering her craft and for the joy on her face as being recognized by the industry. Nancy Lee, a white/European woman telling Viola Davis, a dark brown skinned woman of African ancestry that she has never experienced discrimination in Hollywood is ABSURD, ignorant, and terribly insulting. The experience of the Black/African woman in this country has been one of survival and resistance.... against the racists and rapists who have created industries which support the propaganda which tell us our beauty is not the standard, make a mockery of our bodies and skin then create products to mimic our lips, skin and body parts. Google black face and see how black African people globally have been represented in history. But for some folk who still cant grasp why her statement is so unnerving, let me break it down. That statement 'could" be considered akin to: -a man telling a woman she has never experienced gender based discrimination who faces sexual harassment, the glass ceiling, etc -a heterosexual person telling a gay person that they have never experienced gay bashing in this hetero normative culture we live in - a Christian telling a Muslim that Islamophobia isn't real especially after 9/11 How can you tell define another experience when you have never walked in their shoes? That is privilege speaking out of its twisted mouth. I didnt even know General Hospital was still on the air and I didnt even know who Nancy Lee was before her faux paus so she is of no consequence to me. The bigger issue is that her sentiments reflect how many in the industry and the overall society feel about racism and the lack of opportunities which prompted Viola to quote Harriet Tubman which is so relevant in 2015. Privilege blinds people from seeing the truth of other people's experiences. As a humanity, we will never "cross the lines with arms stretched" that Tubman spoke about in the 1800's to get to the other side when people on the other side have their eyes closed, arms folded and continue to disregard our reality. ‪#‎CheckYourPrivilege‬
Nancy Lee, a white/European woman telling Viola Davis, a dark brown skinned woman of African ancestry that she has never experienced discrimination in Hollywood is ABSURD, ignorant, and terribly insulting. The experience of the Black/African woman in this country has been one of survival and resistance.... against the racists and rapists who have created industries which support the propaganda which tell us our beauty is not the standard, make a mockery of our bodies and skin then create products to mimic our lips, skin and body parts. Google black face and see how black African people globally have been represented in history. But for some folk who still cant grasp why her statement is so unnerving, let me break it down. That statement 'could" be considered akin to: -a man telling a woman she has never experienced gender based discrimination who faces sexual harassment, the glass ceiling, etc -a heterosexual person telling a gay person that they have never experienced gay bashing in this hetero normative culture we live in - a Christian telling a Muslim that Islamophobia isn't real especially after 9/11 How can you tell define another experience when you have never walked in their shoes? That is privilege speaking out of its twisted mouth. I didnt even know General Hospital was still on the air and I didnt even know who Nancy Lee was before her faux paus so she is of no consequence to me. The bigger issue is that her sentiments reflect how many in the industry and the overall society feel about racism and the lack of opportunities which prompted Viola to quote Harriet Tubman which is so relevant in 2015. Privilege blinds people from seeing the truth of other people's experiences. As a humanity, we will never "cross the lines with arms stretched" that Tubman spoke about in the 1800's to get to the other side when people on the other side have their eyes closed, arms folded and continue to disregard our reality. ‪#‎CheckYourPrivilege‬

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Equality and Justice for ALL

The problem with these invites and apologies from upper officials is that it disregards all the others who have been treated unjustly. What about the families of the non famous and poor? What about the family of Tamir Rice a child who was shot in cold blood in the playground? Where was the apology then? These invites are a distraction. James Blake got an apology from the city of NY because he is a famous tennis player. What about the countless black and brown people profiled ///where is their apology? Let's deal with the real issues and offer an apology to EVERYONE or NO ONE at all. This is elitism and classism at work here. Pookie and Ray Ray deserve an apology too. #ApologiesAreDistractions

Friday, July 10, 2015

I Define Me!

I have never had the audacity to say to my Italian friends that they are not Italian because they were not born in Italy. I recognize their cultural and ethnic heritage and roots are in Italy whether their feet have ever stepped on Italian soil or not. The same things goes for African people across the diaspora. Check yourself if you find yourself challenging someone who is Black, African American, African Caribbean on their identification/connection with Africa. Being African is more than mere geography. Slavery screwed that up remember? Your insistence to challenge another on their heritage speaks volumes on your assumed privilege. Stay in your lane and as Bro Malcolm X once said, "Just because a cat has kittens in the oven, that doesn't make them biscuits.” ‬

"...with or without the evidence of slime...."

I acknowledge how Cosby and The Cosby show was revolutionary!!! It expanded the narrative, re shaped the paradigm, stretched the limitations of what this culture imagined when they thought of the black family. The show was transformative, ground breaking and showcased a pride for ones culture and celebrated "black love Is black wealth" as Nikki Giovanni says ever so beautifully. Even with all of that good of that show and as I reflect on what that show meant to me in my formative years, my love for Cosby dissipated years back when he self appointed himself as King and the Voice of black respectability politics, released Lisa bonet off the show after her nude scene in "Angel heart", when he made a mockery of the names black people gave to their children, when he blamed single mothers and young men for their unfortunate circumstances. Pull your pants up he says while he pulls his down. Hypocrite. And HE was the moral compass???? I do not support and defend of a man who admitted to drugging and raping women. Rape is a crime, the highest offense. The rape of these women is the most profound expression of misogyny and all things deleterious for women and throwing money Spelman, a historically Black female college is incredibly hypocritical and will not absolve you of your crimes. ‪#‎ByeCosby‬ ‪#‎IDontSupportRapists‬. ‪#‎EndViolenceEndRape4EVER

Friday, June 26, 2015

One week ago...

I will not be derailed with conversations over the Confederate flag and yes, it should be taken down, or the imposter Rachel of the NAACP, get caught up in the gossip of her declaration of her bi status or the audacity of her giving black women natural hair tips (PuhLeeze), I don't adhere to Respectability Politics, the Forgiveness Train some folks have boarded, not interested in singing "Amazing Grace" written by an enslaver or "We shall overcome" because we haven't, nor am I giving any thought to Pres O saying the "n "word as he is not the first nor last President to say it and it was the realest thing I have heard in a long time. One week ago, NINE human beings who were EXECUTED in a church while the police take the murderer out for Burger King because he was hungry. Yeah, let that sink in...

Friday, June 19, 2015

Respectability Politics about the Charleston 9

Conversations around the 9 people who were gunned down in church, I've heard... "They were hard working, educated, God fearing aka Christians." Well, I don't care if they were on welfare stamps and hadn't had a job in years, I don't care if they lived in the trailor parks or the ghettos, I don't care if they believed in God or were atheists, I don't care if they ever finished middle school or had a HS diploma-NO ONE DESERVES what they were handed. Let's not do the respectability politics here. These were human beings KILLED because of racism and hatred for human beings with black skin. Period- end of conversation. No degree or lack there of can justify these murders.

Monday, June 8, 2015

4TH ANNUAL REMEMBRANCE AT BUCKROE BEACH-HONORING OUR ANCESTORS

The Sankofa Projects PO Box 9543 Hampton, Virginia 23670 . 757-816-1579 . chadrapw@gmail.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact-- Chadra Pittman Walke “4th Annual International Day of Remembrance” Saturday, June 13, 2015 ~ 11:00 am ~ Buckroe Beach in Hampton, Virginia Hampton, VA-- On Saturday, June 13, 2015, The Sankofa Projects will orchestrate its 4th Annual International Day of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach at 11:00am. The location of the ceremony will be at North 1st and Pilot Avenue on Buckroe Beach. Remembrance is an international ceremony which honors the millions of African men, women and children who perished during the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade. According to the United Nations, the “transatlantic slave trade” is known to be “the largest forced migration in history, and incontrovertibly one of the most inhumane.” “Death at sea was common over the course of slavery and millions of Africans were thrown into the Atlantic Ocean, drowned in ship wrecks or jumped to resist a life of enslavement.” says Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder and Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects. Established in 2012, The Sankofa Projects creates educational and cultural programs that explore the richness and diversity of the African diaspora through the lens of history and culture. "Recognizing the historical significance of the city of Hampton as the birth place of slavery in British North America and where the seeds of freedom were sown with the "Contraband Decision" in 1861, I felt it was imperative to start a tradition of Remembrance in Hampton. Remembrance is that ‘middle chapter, that untold story’ between slavery and freedom which needs to be told so that all understand the gravity and horror of this often ignored and cruel chapter of American and global history." says Pittman Walke, Last year, The Sankofa Projects received a Proclamation from the City of Hampton and Mayor George Wallace presented by Vice Mayor Linda Curtis acknowledging the 2nd Saturday in June annually in Hampton as The Sankofa Projects International Day of Remembrance. Remembrance is part of a long standing tradition which began in Brooklyn, New York in 1989 when author and activist Toni Cade Bambara put out a call for action for the community to “reclaim those bones in the Atlantic Ocean…All those African bodies in the briny deep.” Bambara’s words began an International movement which is celebrated annually on the 2nd Saturday in June across the globe. "Through Remembrance, The Sankofa Projects has aligned the city of Hampton with a larger International movement, creating a platform for the diversity of the community to gather, establishing community partnerships and creating a venue for public education .” says Pittman Walke Featured on the 2015 program will be Singer and songwriter Narissa Bond, Poets Synnika Lofton, Marisa Poulson, Shavon Glo Shines, and LaShawne Bryant, Legacy of Weyanoke, Hampton Performing Arts Musical Mosaic, Crystal Sessoms, Director of SEEDAHOPE Productions, Regina Scott Sanford, performing artist and owner of Culture of 1 Enterprises, Singer Shaunte Spears, Coyoba Dance Theater, a contemporary West African Dance Company under the Artistic direction of Sylvia Soumah, Reggae Artist TONAHOPE, Traditional African drumming and dancing and Educational Presentations. At 12:00 noon at Buckroe Beach in Hampton, an International Libation will be orchestrated by Baba Orimalade Ogunjimi of Ile Nago, which will occur simultaneously across the United States in Brooklyn, New York, Charleston, South Carolina; Georgetown, SC; Oakland, California, St. Croix, Virgin Islands and internationally in Panama and Ghana, and Senegal in Africa. Descendants are encouraged to wear African/Cultural attire and attendees are encouraged to wear colorful clothing. We ask all attendees to bring beach chairs and umbrellas to shade you and fresh flowers for the ceremony. We are grateful to our sponsors: Nserewa Adorned, Reiki Healing Arts, Living Divinity Services by Amani, Kente’s African American Café, Spruce’s Cutting Corner, Cecelia & Carlton Pittman, the City of Hampton Parks and Recreation and the Hampton History Museum for their continued support of Remembrance. Remembrance is free and open to the public however, we ask that all respect the sanctity of this sacred and historic event. For more information, contact Chadra Pittman Walke of The Sankofa Projects at chadrapw@gmail.com or 757-816-1579 www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com ####

THE CITY OF HAMPTON REMEMBERS THE AFRICAN ANCESTORS WHO PERISHED IN THE MIDDLE PASSAGE

The Sankofa Projects PO Box 9543 Hampton, Virginia 23670 . 757-816-1579 . chadrapw@gmail.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact-- Chadra Pittman Walke “4th Annual International Day of Remembrance” Saturday, June 13, 2015 ~ 11:00 am ~ Buckroe Beach in Hampton, Virginia Hampton, VA-- On Saturday, June 13, 2015, The Sankofa Projects will orchestrate its 4th Annual International Day of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach at 11:00am. The location of the ceremony will be at North 1st and Pilot Avenue on Buckroe Beach. Remembrance is an international ceremony which honors the millions of African men, women and children who perished during the Middle Passage of the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade. According to the United Nations, the “transatlantic slave trade” is known to be “the largest forced migration in history, and incontrovertibly one of the most inhumane.” “Death at sea was common over the course of slavery and millions of Africans were thrown into the Atlantic Ocean, drowned in ship wrecks or jumped to resist a life of enslavement.” says Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder and Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects. Established in 2012, The Sankofa Projects creates educational and cultural programs that explore the richness and diversity of the African diaspora through the lens of history and culture. "Recognizing the historical significance of the city of Hampton as the birth place of slavery in British North America and where the seeds of freedom were sown with the "Contraband Decision" in 1861, I felt it was imperative to start a tradition of Remembrance in Hampton. Remembrance is that ‘middle chapter, that untold story’ between slavery and freedom which needs to be told so that all understand the gravity and horror of this often ignored and cruel chapter of American and global history." says Pittman Walke, Last year, The Sankofa Projects received a Proclamation from the City of Hampton and Mayor George Wallace presented by Vice Mayor Linda Curtis acknowledging the 2nd Saturday in June annually in Hampton as The Sankofa Projects International Day of Remembrance. Remembrance is part of a long standing tradition which began in Brooklyn, New York in 1989 when author and activist Toni Cade Bambara put out a call for action for the community to “reclaim those bones in the Atlantic Ocean…All those African bodies in the briny deep.” Bambara’s words began an International movement which is celebrated annually on the 2nd Saturday in June across the globe. "Through Remembrance, The Sankofa Projects has aligned the city of Hampton with a larger International movement, creating a platform for the diversity of the community to gather, establishing community partnerships and creating a venue for public education .” says Pittman Walke Featured on the 2015 program will be Singer and songwriter Narissa Bond, Poets Synnika Lofton, Marisa Poulson, Shavon Glo Shines, and LaShawne Bryant, Legacy of Weyanoke, Hampton Performing Arts Musical Mosaic, Crystal Sessoms, Director of SEEDAHOPE Productions, Regina Scott Sanford, performing artist and owner of Culture of 1 Enterprises, Singer Shaunte Spears, Coyoba Dance Theater, a contemporary West African Dance Company under the Artistic direction of Sylvia Soumah, Reggae Artist TONAHOPE, Traditional African drumming and dancing and Educational Presentations. At 12:00 noon at Buckroe Beach in Hampton, an International Libation will be orchestrated by Baba Orimalade Ogunjimi of Ile Nago, which will occur simultaneously across the United States in Brooklyn, New York, Charleston, South Carolina; Georgetown, SC; Oakland, California, St. Croix, Virgin Islands and internationally in Panama and Ghana, and Senegal in Africa. Descendants are encouraged to wear African/Cultural attire and attendees are encouraged to wear colorful clothing. We ask all attendees to bring beach chairs and umbrellas to shade you and fresh flowers for the ceremony. We are grateful to our sponsors: Nserewa Adorned, Reiki Healing Arts, Living Divinity Services by Amani, Kente’s African American Café, Spruce’s Cutting Corner, Cecelia & Carlton Pittman, the City of Hampton Parks and Recreation and the Hampton History Museum for their continued support of Remembrance. Remembrance is free and open to the public however, we ask that all respect the sanctity of this sacred and historic event. For more information, contact Chadra Pittman Walke of The Sankofa Projects at chadrapw@gmail.com or 757-816-1579 www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com ####

4th Annual International Day of Remembrance