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:




Saturday, December 29, 2018

Activism and Social Justice Movements Across the Globe- Lecture by Chadra Pittman at Christopher Newport University

From my years at the African Burial Ground National Monument to my organizations, The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R., my work has been rooted in "giving voice" to untold stories, excavating history, acknowledging the pioneers and freedom fighters who paved the way, advocating for social injustices and honoring our Ancestors through Sankofa's Annual ceremony of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach. www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com
Education, Activism, Community Engagement and Social Justice are the cornerstsones of my orgznizations and life's work. Through our programs, we challenge hegemony and strive to eradicate oppression in all it's forms. I was invited to give a lecture at Christopher Newport University for a Feminist class being taught by Dr. Danielle Stern; I was thrilled to do so as I am always excited to engage with students.
In the spirit of Sankofa, which teaches us to reach back and fetch it, I took the class on a journey through time. We visited critical moments in history which have shaped the lives and laws of this land. We explored ageism, sexism, homophobia, racism, heterosexism, classism, misogyny, patriarchy, ableism and I challenged the relevance and lack thereof of these "cultural norms." I spoke of the necessity of intersectionality and the importance of acknowleding our shared humanity. We explored the ways women and some men fight for social justice. In this current political climate which seems to embrace, coddle and excuse rampant xenophobia, we moved beyond the borders of the United States and investigated how and if culture shapes the lives and work of international activists. We explored the various forms of oppression and how "othering", patriarchy and privilege contribute to a feminism which is racist and exclusionary. We uncovered common threads in our humanity that bind us to one another in our collective pursuit of justice while acknowledging the battles won and risks associated with being an activist. It is imperative that I introduce these students to the names and faces of scholars, activists and game changers who often are invisible in mainstream educational systems like Audre Lorde and others who paved the way.
It was an absolute joy to meet this dynamic group of budding scholars who were engaged, outspoken and excited about their roles in this world and our collective future. I am so grateful that in a political climate and world which seems crazed, unjust and xenophobic that these students have professors like Dr. Stern who are courageous enough to tackle difficult conversations and are willing to work towards understanding. When the lecture ended, I spoke with many students about their class projects and they shared their dreams for their futures. I left feeling inspired by these students and parted from them sharing one of my favorite quotes by Sir James Baldwin, "The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in." I want the youth to always know they can make a difference in this world. Thank you again my friend... for inviting me to your class and for providing this space for me to share this work that I am engaged in with this next generation. I am optimistic that they will take this world by storm, do great things and leave the world better than they inherited it! Hopeful...and grateful...sincere thanks Danielle!!! ☮πŸ•‰πŸ‘ŠπŸΎπŸ‘ŠπŸΎ♀️πŸŒˆπŸ–€πŸŒ
#Educator #Anthropologist #SocialJusticeWarriorsUnite #JamesBaldwin #AudreLorde #IntersectionalFeminism #TheSankofaProjects #4EVER #Humanity

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Beloved, your LIFE matters!!

Today, someone woke up ready to give up on life. They woke feeling depressed, overwhelmed and they feel like they cant take another step forward. They went to bed crying... contemplating taking their life. They are caught up in despair and are feeling their life isnt worth living. Beloveds...Suicide is real.
If you woke up like this, please tell someone...reach out, ask for help. Please call the hotline...1-800-273-8255
Know that although you may not feel it...You are loved and needed on this Earth. Please talk to someone. You can rewrite a new story or chapter in your life.
If you've lost someone, I pray that you are comforted by the memories and that they are welcomed into loving arms of the Ancestors. Ashe. Aho. Amen.
If you know someone who has hinted about suicide and you are concerned for them, please reach out to them and remind them they are not alone. Beloveds...You are LOVED...you are not alone! Reach out for help. πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ πŸ–€ πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€πŸ–€ Chadra 4 E.V.E.R. The Sankofa Projects #RemembranceOfThoseWeLost #YourLifeMatters #SuicidePrevention Remember this...
In memory of Stephen Carr Kratovil, Jr. ****All images are from Pinterest.*****

Friday, November 2, 2018

Humanity Extended in the Height of Hate Filled Times by Chadra Pittman

I watched earlier this week, a large crowd of "white" people in Pittsburgh kneel and turn their back on 45 bc he hasn't denounced white nationalism = Using your privilege to denounce hatred. Thank you. I heard on NPR that a "black" Baptist minister was going to have Shabat tonight in honor of the 11 Jewish people murdered in Pittsburgh = Kindness extended. Thank you. The Muslim community raised $ for those affected in the Jewish massacre = Compassion extended. Thank you. The Baptist minister said when that when Michael Brown was killed, that the Rabbi and members of the Synogague she is visiting this evening came to her church to offer condolences and to pray with the family of Brown = one hand Washes the other. Thank you. In the midst of the inconceivable insanity in the world, moments like these, if just for a moment restore my hope in humanity. πŸ–€ STILL praying for the families in Kentucky, Pittsburgh, Charleston, Parkland, Sandy hook, Columbine, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Tamir Rice, Philandro Castille...

Friday, July 13, 2018

Guest Lecturer on Social Justice at Hampton Diversity College - July 12, 2018

"Creating safe spaces where the community can meet across our differences, exchange ideas and turn ideas into action, where the voices of the vulnerable and marginalized can be heard and are valued, where equity is the aim and privilege is examined and the intersections of what makes us human are explored is central to the work of my two organizations, The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R. (End Violence End Rape in the 4 Directions of the Earth). The overarching theme of my life's work is rooted in social justice, working to obliterate all forms of oppression, and educating on the importance and necessity of acknowledging our shared humanity." ~ Chadra Pittman Walke
I was invited by Lateisha Handie, Executive Director of the Citizens' Unity Commission to present a lecture on Social Justice, Equity and Equality and I was thrilled to do so. I explored Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Heterosexism, Ableism, Ageism, Transphobia, Equality vs Equity and reinforced the need for Intersectionality incorporating the works of Ancestors Audre Lorde and James Baldwin into the discussion while confronting and examining privilege.
Image below is from our interview on Round Robin with Robin McCormick of Channel 47 and her staff. Thrilled to partner with these powerful women who are working for social justice and the men behind the scenes on the shoot for this day.
The room was filled with a diverse group of people who were interested in learning about social justice, how vital it is to think broadly and beyond our privilege and being cognizant of what happens when social justice is absent. We must create inclusive, welcoming environments where we all have a seat at the table, where we all have a voice and where we all have the ability to succeed.
Thrilled for The Sankofa Projects and 4 E.V.E.R to have partnered with the Citizens' Unity Commission on this initiative and look forward to doing more together in the future. Programs like this, which are rooted in education, building awareness across the Hampton Roads communities and affecting change, make it easy to see why you should #ChooseHampton. If you are interested in enrolling in Hampton Diversity College, contact Ms. Handie at 757-727-6899 or latiesha.handie@hampton.gov

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Reflections on July 4th and the Breasts that Fed Nation

On July 4th, I REMEMBER this woman, this Queen Mother! I think about her and all the other African women and how unbearable it must've been to be forced to bare their breasts and feed the children of those who were enslaving them; to give her milk while her own child lay hungry. I think about how much Africans sacrificed for this land we call America. She and the countless of other Africans who were enslaved on this day in 1776, I REMEMBER them! These are my beloved Ancestors. I would ask the next time you frown upon someone who chooses not to stand for the Pledge or sing the National Anthem and accuse them of being non patriotic---remember her. Her breasts FED this nation. She and those who like her were prohibited by law to drink from "White Only" water fountains yet white infants children could suckle on these black breasts? The irony of it all!!! I ask you, what is MORE patriotic than feeding the Nation? America gained its independence yet not everyone was free. Africans would remain enslaved for another 89 years after America gained her freedom and still, questioning this notion if freedom in a land that has historically condemned Blackness and otherness. As HUMANS, if we ever hope to move forward toward, and attempt to heal from the horrors of this past--we MUST engage in honest conversations about THE TRUTH, the horror which was imposed on our fellow humans, the decimation and genocide of Native First Nations people, the trade of millions of African beings, the millions of lives lost in the Middle Passage, the misogyny and disrespect and rape of women, the racism, sexism, the disregard for GNC folk, the abuse of children, the neglect of the homeless and the elderly. We, HUMANS, have a shared history yet we must acknowledge that our experiences to this land are as vast as the ocean. I am not obliged to celebrate the 4th of July, stand for the pledge nor sing the anthem. My experience to these supposed "national treasures" is different than others and to disregard the difference speaks to your denial of my individual experiences and history. I believe we can move forward towards recognizing our shared humanity but you must see me; the painful parts and the beautiful parts. You must have the courage to face the past and it's crimes against humanity. I'm willing to try...are you? #TheSANKOFAProjects #REMEMBRANCE PPeace always, Chadra For more info on Sankofa, visit www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com

Monday, June 11, 2018

The TIES That Bind...Never Shall We Forget...Remembrance June 9, 2018

The Sankofa Projects' 7th Annual Sankofa Day of Remembrance at Buckroe Beach We gathered at the Waters edge... 442 human beings of diverse backgrounds, a myriad of hues, various histories and experiences...all sharing a common thread...a respect for those beloved Ancestors, the millions of Africans who perished on the Middle Passage and during the Transatlantic Enslavement Trade...we gathered to honor them. We circled our Tree of Remembrance, which had been cut down to a stump. Like the tree, we know just as the Africans were removed from Africa, transplanted to a new place, their roots remained intact, the roots remain strong. We, like the tree, with roots strong... we reached back and fetched our traditional African ways of drum, dance, pouring libations and placing flowers in the water to honor them. Beautiful expressions of song and dance, poetry and words on Domestic Violence and remarks from US congressman Bobby Scott, who has shown support of Remembrance the past two years filled the time and space. My work, for the past almost 3 decades has been rooted in giving voice to the untold stories and neglected narratives like that of the Middle Passage. June 9th, 2018 was a Day of Remembrance of the lives lost and for this untold history of what happened to the Africans who fought at the shores when the European traders arrived and those who never made it off the enslavement ships alive. My hand was raised showing the ascot of my beloved Father that I tied on my wrist. My father became an Ancestor on April 22nd and he was always by my side at Remembrance...and in life. I wore this scarf on my left wrist in Remembrance of him. Fist and Flowers raised for our beloveds and our continued Resistance against oppression, discrimination, racism and a disregard for HUMANITY. Remembrance was a beautiful coming together of our community acknowledging this painful past, celebrating our culture with hopes that we can eventually heal and move forward towards a better future. www.thesankofaprojects.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Port Hampton Lecture "...Dying, but Fighting Back: The Myth of African Docility" by Chadra Pittman Walke at the Hampton History Museum

"A liasion between the scholarly and the grass roots community" is how Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder and Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects describes herself. From her time at the NY African Burial Ground Project t her present day work, Pittman Walke has spent nearly three decades committed to public education, community engagement and ancestral work. "Information serves no purpose if it only sits in the ivory towers of academia; the community, the activists and grass roots folk must be engaged in the conversation and have several seats at the table." Pittman Walke states.
For the 3rd year in a row, Chadra Pittman Walke has presented lectures to accompany Sankofa's Annual Remembrance ceremony on Buckroe Beach. "Providing lectures on Remembrance is important; as it contextualizes the ceremony beyond the spiritual which is experienced on the beach and offers the historical and scholarly perspectives which is crucial to a full understanding the meaning behind this historic event." says Pittman Walke. In 2015 and 2016, the lectures were presented at the Slover Library in Norfolk with a Media exhibit to accompany it and this year she will present at the Hampton History Museum.
In preparation for Remembrance Day 2018 on June 9, join Chadra Pittman Walke, founder & executive director of The Sankofa Projects, for ““Dying, but fighting back”: The Myth of African Docility, The Truth of the Massacre in the Middle Passage & Restoring Black Humanity through Sacred Spaces like Remembrance.” Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe once said that “Until the lion has its historian, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” In this case, Chadra is the historian, the lions are the untold stories of the African Diaspora, and the hunters have historically told only their version of the story. Chadra Pittman Walke is working diligently to change that paradigm so that the untold stories of these Africans and their contributions to America and beyond find their rightful place within the annals of history.
Like the name of her organization, Sankofa, which translates as “reach back and fetch it,” Chadra invites you on a journey back through time during this lecture. Travelling from the shores of Africa to today, unlearn the myths of African docility and that current events are impacted by slavery and the untold history of the Middle Passage and African Diaspora. This program is free to museum members, $5 for non-members.
For more information about Remembrance Day 2018, visit: https://tinyurl.com/ydgo9ubs The Hampton History Museum is located at 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton. There is free parking in the garage across the street from the museum. For more information call 757-727-1102. Image Courtesy of The Sankofa Projects Visit Hampton, Virginia!, Hampton, VA - Gov #REMEMBRANCE #TheSANKOFAProjects
Join us for Sankofa's 7th YEAR HONORING OUR ANCESTORS and giving voice to this untold chapter in American and Global history. Hope to see you at BUCKROE Beach where we will gather to honor our BELOVED Ancestors who perished in the Middle Passage and paid the ultimate price for their freedom. Sage burns...Ashe.Aho.πŸ–€ #THESANKOFAProjects

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Celebrating my Father, Carlton Pittman as an Ancestor on his 83rd Birthday

Carlton Pittman is my Father. Today, May 9th is my father's birthday and he would've been 83 years today. He was welcomed into the realm of the Ancestors on Sunday, April 22nd...he departed the Earth on Earth Day 2018. Grateful, I was there with him holding his hands...nothing more precious.
My Father was Regal. My Father was distinguished. My Father was loved and admired by many. My Father was a kind, generous, funny, charismatic fellow... the most animated story teller. My Father had a unique style, known as an urban cowboy donning the most exquisite jewelery, cowboy boots, hats, ascots and tailored jumpsuits and the fanciest of cars.
He taught me what it means to be loyal as he was the most loyal friend, was a hard worker, and an AMAZING provider for his family. He served this country in the US Army from 1955-1958 and was laid to rest with Military honors. Otherwise known as " Pitt" and "The Dr" because he took great care of EVERYONE, he gave his daughters and wife of 56 years the very best everything that life had to offer, he broke the mold on what a GRANDFATHER should be, there will be no other... he taught me that "Love is a verb" and he lived it daily through his action!!! He was an AMAZING dancer and live his life fully and unapologetically. On April 28th, we celebrated his life and sent him onward into the realm of the Ancestors like the most BELOVED King. As he was brought out of the church, the sounds of Africa filled the air...Oya was present with the most gentle breeze.
Most GRATEFUL to you all... who have reached out on FB, inboxed, came to sit with me by my fathers side, came to the wake, came to the Homegoing Celebration, those who traveled near and far, those who stopped by the house to visit, called, texted, sent cards, emails, sent flowers or brought food for our family...we appreciate the love you have shown our family and Father. If I didnt get to give a hug and say thank you at the services, please know I am so grateful for your presence in my and my family's life. For those who were unable to come but sent love filled prayers, energy and vibrations...Asante sana...Thank you. When I reached out to my community to tell them of my Father's passing, they asked what do you need? All I could think was that I wanted to send him off with the sounds of drums and I wanted to play the shekere for my father one more time. We've played many times before together...I knew I wanted to honor dad in thos way. From dance recitals at Alvin Ailey, to cotillions, to Sankofa's annual Remembrance, my father was always by my side. From our 1st REMEMBRANCE and annually, you would see him on the sand at Buckroe. This was his REMEMBRANCE ceremony...his Homegoing. I wanted to send him off like a KING and that is what we did!!!! Blessings and love filled thanks to my sister Goddess Bonney, and my brothers Papa D Dmitri Clawson, and Anpu Sil John Earl Robinson for sending Dad off like a King...as I played the shekere with my baby boy at my side...and for the gift of dance my dear beloved sis Linda Holmes...this celebration was perfection!!!! Asante sana Beloveds. Sage burns, Ashe, Aho. This year at Remembrance and every time I pour libations, I will call the name of my beloved Father. He and my mother were always by my side on the sand of Buckroe Beach at Sankofa's annual Remembrance ceremony. I am my Father's Daughter!!!
#ThisIsSANKOFA #REMEMBRANCE #HOMEGOING #AncestorStatusCarltonPittman #IAmMyFathersDaughter Ashe...Aho...Sage Burns.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Celebrating the Native, African and European cultures at Heritage Day 2018

6th year offering a Libation to honor the Ancestors at Hampton"s Heritage Day. I had no idea that the very next day, I would be holding my fathers hand as he passed into the realm of the Ancestors.
For the second year, I performed a Historical Reenactment of Ancestor Mary Peake who risked her life to educate the free and the enslaved.
Thanks to Bro Greg "TwoHawks" and Sis Diane for the beautiful Native welcome. Asante sana to the Goddesses Bonney and Kerri for drumming for the Libation. Thank you for all your hard work Seamus...another beautiful and memorable Heritage Day as we celebrate the three cultures that laid the foundation for Hampton today; the Native who were here and were massacred, the African who were brought here against their will through the horror of enslavement and the European who settled here. I pour Libations for the spirits of our BELOVED Ancestors! Sage burns..Ashe...Aho