Florida A&M University students are involved in an array of activities on Saturday afternoons, but last Saturday, a select few turned out to FAMU to support a cause.
The Sankofa Experience is an on-campus project designed to educate blacks about their culture.
Its mission is to enlighten the black community, and the facilitators have hopes of developing an active campus organization.
Sankofa moderators Gary Stoddard and Spencer Tyrus encourage the importance of knowledge of self throughout the black culture in these weekly forums where subjects such as identity, race and politics are discussed.
“The Sankofa Experience connects the people and is to unite us globally,” Stoddard said. “If one does not have knowledge of self, he or she will fall prey to another’s culture.”
Sankofa, according to its Adinkra/Akan definition means, “We must go back and reclaim our past so we can move forward so we understand why and how we came to be who we are today.”
Sankofa is meant to be used as a platform for Diaspora Africans to study the African Holocaust.
The first meeting involved the viewing of a movie titled “Letter to The President.”
This hip hop documentary exposed the government’s alleged attempt to destroy the black community.
The film focused on educating different age groups by documenting well-known people in various genres of the media.
The Black Panther movement, drug wars and C. Delores Tucker’s hip hop protest were among the topics addressed during the forum.
Hana Blanco, 21, a senior philosophy student from Atlanta, said, “The Sankofa Experience at large will motivate students to take our issues and community serious.”
Each week, participants discuss various elements of black history and today’s society that will help blacks understand how to improve issues that are negatively affecting the communities.
Students said these forums are good for learning the views and opinions of others.
Chariese Walton, 18, a freshman business student from Pensacola, said, “I was interested by issues of skin color and what everyone else thought.
I think it can just open up people’s eyes,” Walton said.
The topic of community outreach also became an enthralling idea among the attendants.
“There’s nothing wrong with individuality as long as we do it together.” Stoddard said.
The Sankofa Experience is held each Saturday at 4 p.m in the Benjamin L. Perry General Classroom Building.