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 Walke, Founder & Executive Director

For more info or to schedule a program contact us:




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.🖤 #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

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Giving Voice to the life of Ancestor Educator Mary Smith Peake

Giving voice to the Ancestors and excavating the untold stories of the freedom fighters and pioneers who paved the way has been the focus of my work since my time at the New York African Burial Ground Project nearly 30 years ago. In 2015, I began performing Historical Reenactments of Ancestor Mary Smith Peake and have continued to give voice to her life and story. She was a free woman and risked her life and safety to educate free and enslaved Africans. She taught the children of the enslaved the newly freed and is known to have recited the first public reading of the Emancipation Proclamation under the Emancipation Oak tree on Hampton University. I've performed at Heritage Day the past two years and for the National Park Services Freedom Seekers Summer Youth Experience at Fort Monroe last July.
Honored to do this sacred work!!! Honored to tell her story. Honored to honor these beloved Ancestors!!!! Left photo Mary Smith Peake Right photo; Reenactor Chadra Pittman Walke
Image on left from Under the Freedom Tree by Susan VanHecke Image on right Pittman Walke as Mary Smith Peake at Fort Monore- Freedom Seekers Summer Youth Experience #TheSANKOFAProjects #MarySmithPeake #FortMonroeNationalMonument

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Nevertheless SHE Persisted Women's Conference at Tidewater Community College March 24, 2018

Nevertheless She Persisted Conference Tidewater Community College #TheSANKOFAProjects #TCCWomensConference2018 Honored...I was invited by Alicia Phillips, Assoc Director for the Student Center at Tidewater Community College to participate in a panel discussion for TCC's Women's History Month program on March 24, 2018.
I gave remarks on Intersectionality and because my work is rooted in honoring Ancestors and advocating against violence with my organization 4 EVER(EndViolenceEndRape) I give homage to the warrior women who have been killed and silenced because of their activism. I spoke their names so that there stories and their work could live on; calling the names of the Mirabal sisters who were murdered in the Dominican Republic and Black Human Rights Activist, Marielle Franco who was murdered in Brazil just a week before this conference. We must honor the slain, the women who became Ancestors because the world feared their voices.
The conference was a GREAT gathering of women and concerned men. Truly, it was an honor to speak on the panel and be in a room with those who are focused on moving issues affecting women forward ...front and center politically and personally. Deeply grateful to Alicia for inviting me to take part in this occasion. Alicia did an outstanding job organizing this conference!!! Well done sis ...!!!!
#NeverthelessShePersisted #TCC #TheSANKOFAProjects **Images property of TCC Images owned by TCC

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mark Your CALENDAR for Heritage Day 2018

Hampton Heritage Day 2018 April 21—Save the Date! Join in commemorating the Native American, European and African cultures that have shaped our community. Enjoy traditional music, dance and storytelling and other performances and presentations that will take place throughout the day, hands-on family activities, cultural displays and demonstrations, glassblowing, blacksmithing, wool spinning, food, heritage arts & crafts, and more to honor those who came before us. This free event will take place from 10 am to 5 pm on Queens Way between Wine Street and Kings Way in Downtown Hampton, and it is being held in conjunction with the International Children's Festival. Event overview: https://tinyurl.com/yagz68n6 For more information visit www.HamptonHistoryMuseum.org, or call 757-727-1102. Pictured here is Chadra Pittman Walke, Founder and Executive Director of The Sankofa Projects. Visit Hampton, Virginia!, Downtown Hampton, Hampton, VA - Gov

Monday, January 15, 2018

More than a Dream... Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

So today we acknowledge Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr....a man, a father, a husband, a brother, a son, a preacher, a civil rights activist, a human being, a warrior doing great works for equality and justice. His life was snuffed out by hatred, racism, opposers to justice and snakes in his camp who were jealous and didn't clap for him as he climbed. Trust...there are always some in the midst. The fight continues... I thank you to those who continue to do the work and fight the good fight for justice. On today, I shout out my dear Tyrell Cooper who is working today hosting a BRILLIANT program they are orchestrating in Harford, CT. So proud of you love. Even without the support, you made this event happen!!! You are making the Ancestors proud as you honor Dr. King. To my sis Kay Hicks... all the best with your MLK program today in Richmond. Kay works tirelessly to end gun violence through legislative tactics. Thank you for all you do sis. You as well... remember the fallen and honor the departed. If you are in Richmond, please support this program. Remember beloveds, Martin did more than dream...he acted, resisted, spoke out and fought for justice. What are you going to do to make your mark in this world? How will you defend justice? How will you leave the world a better place for the generations to come? How will you dismantle racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, transphobia, xenophobia poverty, homelessness, misogyny, sexual violence, Islamophobia and every form of systemic oppression? Beloveds, what will you do to ensure that the legacy of freedom and equality lives on? We must not allow the dream to be deferred. In the infamous words of Spike Lee, beloveds... "Wake Up" before it's too late!!! #TheTimeIsNow #TheSANKOFAProjects #4EVER (EndViolenceEndRape 4EVER) #MoreThanADream #AncestorDrMartinLutherKingJr

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Congratulations Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax

CONGRATULATIONS to Attorney Justin Fairfax on his win as Virginia's Lieutenant Governor. Pictured here with my dear heart, the Honorable Dr. Mary T. Christian, the first woman and 1st African American appointed to the House of Delegates in Virginia post Reconstruction and she served 9 consecutive terms representing the 92nd District. Continued success Lt. Governor Fairfax!!!! #ThisIsAmericanHistory #TheSANKOFAProjects #4EVER