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

For more info or to schedule a program contact us:




Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Remembering Freedom Fighter & Liberator Nat Turner at The Khalifah Kujichaguilia Village

On Sunday, November 13, 2016, The Sankofa Projects honored the legend, freedom fighter and liberator on the 185th year marking his execution which was on November 11, 1831. We gathered on the land where Nat Turner was born and plotted the historic rebellion in Southampton, VA. When I founded The Sankofa Projects in 2012, I created this organization as a vehicle for the community to "REACH BACK and FETCH"- true to the meaning of SANKOFA--FETCH our history, culture and spirituality. Throughout the year, we host educational and cultural programs and engage in social justice work as we believe that as Brian Stevenson says that "slavery didnt end---it evolved." We also honor the pioneers that paved the way like NASA Pioneer Katherine Johnson, Malcolm X, James Baldwin, Pearl Bailey and countless others who changed the course of history. Through our annual event, REMEMBRANCE which we created in 2012, we gather at Buckroe to pay homage to the millions of African ancestors who lost their lives, were thrown into or jumped to their deaths resisting slavery during the Middle Passage. SANKOFA's work honors the past, present and looks to the future. We fill in the missing pages of the historical record so that history reflects those Africans who have contributed and have not received their recognition. When I first learned of the Nat Turner film- I was so excited to see the film. Unfortunately with the resurfacing of the rape allegations, I decided that I could not financially support the film as I don't support any aspect of rape culture--regardless of acquittal. Remember Travyon Martin, Sandra Bland's and Freddie Gray's murders were acquitted so acquittal doesn't mean innocence. For me, I could not support but I respected others decisions to see the film. I decided three weeks ago, that if I am not to see the film--how can I fulfill this desire to learn more of this history and create an opportunity for others to learn and decided that the time was now for us to visit the land and learn for ourselves the story of Nat Turner. My job as an educator is to teach and as a community organizer to create spaces for education and healing and activism. The time was now to take the pilgrimage. I created a flyer and people graciously shared it. Thank you for sharing the event. Some of us caravanned to the site, some met us there, 2 sistahs drove from Washington, DC to participate in this event. Some travelled on their own and we all convened at the Nat Turner Library. My spirit is still on FIRE and heart is FULL from the day. We were educated by Elder Brother Halif Khalif Khalifah, we visited historic sites, we talked and broke bread together and learned the true history of Nat Turner from his bloodline. We drummed, shekered, poured libations on the ground and HONORED this warrior and the other ancestors who gave their lives for freedom!!! We engaged in a great discussion about the film and Ancestor Nat's life. We closed the day with the beginning of the red moon. Grateful, honored, inspired !!!
I am eternally grateful those of you who joined Sankofa on this inaugural trip to the Nat Tuner Land. Thank you again Elder Khalifah for opening your doors and liberating our minds. This event was the first of SANKOFA's annual pilgrimage to the Kujichaguilia Village so stay tuned for what is next beloveds. I was called to do this work honoring the Ancestors 25 years ago when I began my work at the New York African Burial Ground and I am honored and humbled to do this work still. #Whispers #LiveYourPassion #HonoringAncestors #NatTurner #SANKOFA

Sunday, August 28, 2016

FRONT PAGE Coverage by Mike Holtzclaw of the Daily Press

Thanks to Mike Holtzclaw for this coverage in the Daily Press!!! Thank you Bill Thomas of Thirdiimage for the photo of the Bench plaque. Bench photo courtesy of The Sankofa Projects

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Unveiling and Dedication to honor NASA Pioneer Dr. Katherine G. Johnson on Friday, August 26th 2:00pm

Unveiling and Dedication to Honor NASA Pioneer Katherine G. Johnson Friday, August 26, 2016 - 2:00pm Carousel Park, 610 Settlers Landing Rd. Hampton, VA The National Technical Association, Inc. (NTA) and The Sankofa Projects, in conjunction with the Hampton Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) will host an Unveiling and Dedication of a bench and historical marker to honor NASA Mathematician & NASA Pioneer Katherine G. Johnson. The Unveiling and Dedication of the bench and marker will also celebrate the 98th birthday of Dr. Johnson. All are invited to attend this community event which is free and open to the public. After 33 years at NASA where Johnson worked as a Research Mathematician, she broke racial and gender barriers and became known for her legendary calculations. The precision of her calculations contributed to the orbits/trajectories of early space travel, including the historic orbits of Alan Sheppard and first flights to and from the moon. In 2015, Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama for her role and contributions to the Space Program. In 2008, the National Technical Association, Inc. raised funds for a bench to be erected in Johnson’s honor and in 2015, The Sankofa Projects hosted a reception to honor Johnson at the Hampton History Museum where Johnson was featured in their exhibit, “The Truth About Women: Myth or Reality.” In 2015, the NTA, an organization dedicated to minorities in engineering and technology and The Sankofa Projects, an educational, cultural and social justice organization, joined forces to make the bench a reality and thus The Katherine G. Johnson Bench Project was born. On February 20, 2016, The NTA and The Sankofa Projects hosted an unveiling of the bench at the Virginia Air and Space Center in Hampton, VA where over 200 guests and dignitaries filled the venue to pay tribute to Johnson. The historical marker is a contribution donated by the CVB to contextualize the bench. Join us as we honor Dr. Johnson with these permanent fixtures as we celebrate one of Hampton Roads greats! For more information, contact Chadra Pittman Walke ~ chadrapw@gmail.com ~ 757-816-1579 or Michael Chapman ~ 757-344-3908 ~ machapman757@verizon.net ###

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Do All Black Lives Matter?

So I just got off the line with a dear friend who has been on the front lines of the #BLM movement for the past 2 years. I was disappointed and angered to hear, once again, of the maltreatment they received by a person who was in attendance at a recent rally. I am further bothered by the lack of support my friend received by the bystanders who stood silent, witnessed the exchange and instead of calling out and holding accountable the person who made the offense, it was my friend they tried to silence as they advocated for themself. Let me say this... For me, when I say #BlackLivesMatter this hashtag includes the lives of Travyon Martin, Rekia Boyd and Lamia Beard. This means that for me the #BLM movement includes Black Cis males, Black Cis females, Black Non Gender Conforming, Black Queer, and Black Trans lives. Everyone's life is of value to me!!!! Excluding LGBT in the Black Lives Movement is synonmous with excluding women from a feminist movement. What would the March on Washington have been without Bayard Rustin?
As Ancestor Audre said, "We don't live single issue lives..." so I believe that our movement should not focus on a single aspect which comprises our identity. We are multidimensional, beautiful and complex human beings. Shouldn't our movement reflect that??? For me if the #BLM (or any other movements) is not inclusive, is not respectful and does not protect nor advocate for All" Black Lives, if intersectionality is not at its core then it is not my movement. I need everyone's lives to be protected and respected! Period! Side note, remember that #BLM was founded by three black queer women. Yeah, look it up... #AllBlackLivesMatter #CheckYourPrivilege #HumanRightsAffordedToAll

Who Built the White House? Africans that's who!!!!

NO ---The White House was built by "AFRICAN PEOPLE" who were stolen from their homeland and forced to work in this inuhamne and brutal system of American chattel slavery. They were NOT "slaves" -- they were "ENSLAVED" Africans. Check your language when you speak of my Ancestors please!!!! Thanks.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chadra Pittman Walke gives a Talk at the Slover Library in Norfolk, VA June 7th -6:00pm

The Sankofa Projects Appearance on the Hampton Roads Show to Promote Remembrance

The Sankofa Projects with Hampton Road Show hosts, with Sankofa Community representatives and representative of Hampton History Museum to promote our 5th Annual International Day of Remembrance on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at 11am Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Giving a Libation to honor three brave African men who lead the way for the Emancipation during the Civil War

Honoring three brave men Frank Baker, James Townsend and Sheppard Mallory with a Libation who were enslaved in Hampton, VA. These men petitioned General Butler for their freedom at Fort Monroe. This courageous act lead to the "emancipation" of thousands of Africans who were eventually granted their freedom during the Civil War if they made it to the gates of Fort Monroe. These people were then known as "Contrabands of War" and it is believed that this decision forced the hand of President Lincoln to sign the emancipation Proclamation. I remember and call the names of these ancestors, all our freedom fighters, those who perished in the Middle passage to on the ships, at the shores, on this land, in Ferguson and Baltimore, the Colored troops and the Union soliders dumped in a mass grave in Charleston in 1865 which was how Memorial day began. #SANKOFARemembers Next year, I hope to get the flyer in advance so I can properly promote this to the community. Photos by Adrian Whitcomb

Saturday, March 19, 2016

B.Y.O.T. Bring Your Own Testimony

I was invited to give a talk at the B.Y.O.T. Inaugural Event organized by Amira Michele Management.

Monday, February 22, 2016

She Calculated the Math to the Moon-- Dr. Katherine G. Johnson

SANKOFA reminds us that in order to know where we are going, we must know where we come from. On
Monday, February 22, 2016, we took a step back in time to honor one of our greats. The National Technical Association and The Sankofa Projects hosted a private, intimate reception reception and unveiling in honor of NASA Mathematician and NASA Pioneer Dr. Katherine G. Johnson to acknowledge the invaluable contributions she made to our community, NASA and to our Nation. In attendence at the reception which was held in partnership with the Virginia Air and Sopace Center was her family, her closest friends NASA colleagues, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority members, church members, city officials and council people and Astronaut Leland Melvin, Congressman Bobby Scott, Mayors Wallace and McKinley Price and NASA Langley Research Center Director Dr. David Bowles and Violist Barbara Kane Baker all gathered to acknowledge her. Dr. Johnson broke racial and gender barriers, intergrated West Virginia University, was among the first women and among the first African Americans to work at NACA now NASA. She is responsible for calculating the trajectories which put the first man in space and her calculations put Neil Armstrong on the moon. It is said that Armstrong specifically asked for Dr. Johnson to check the computers calculations and if Johnson said it was accurate. he trusted it! Now that genius is impressive!!! The NTA and Sankofa unveiled a metal bench which will be installed and dedicated in a public reception in the Spring 2016 in Carousel Park in Hampton. We will keep you posted on details for this public event. Thank you Ronald Orme, Chester Eugene Williams and Anita Holley for these images. More images and video to come. Bill Thomas​ of Thirdiimage Event and Location Photography​.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

President Obama mentions Katherine Johnson in the State of the Union address

97 years young, was one of three students who integrated West Virgiia Univeristy, numeous honoroary doctorates, broke gender and racial barriers as one of the few women and African Americans working for NASA (formerly NACA) in the 1950's, known as a mathematocal genius as her calculations were legendary. She is responsible for calculating the trajectories for major space flights; including Neil Armstrong historic flight to the moon and Alan Shephards orbit around the Earth. In November 2015, Dr. Johnson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama and this evening the POTUS mentioned her again in his State of the Union. Go Dr. Johnson...who was named the West Virginian of the Year and is also a Diamnond Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. YES!!!! #SoProudOfHer http://www.bustle.com/articles/135240-who-is-katherine-johnson-obamas-state-of-the-union-shows-love-to-the-famed-nasa-scientist