“Say it loud! I’m Black and I’m Proud!” Many people of African descent are familiar with this James Brown classic, but the student organization Sankofa declares that today the students, faculty and staff at FAMU be “African & Proud.”
Today marks the second attempt to restore a sense of pride in the community of African descendants at FAMU with an event called “African & Proud: Wear Your African Gear Day.”
Sankofa asks that people wear anything that identifies with their perception of Africa or the African Diaspora. They give examples of an African print head wrap or a simple Bob Marley shirt. “I’m going to wear my Sankofa bird earrings,” said Keondra Brown, senior sociology student from Miami.
“I haven’t decided yet, what I’m going to wear, but I have a button that my mom gave me from the Organization of African Unity. It’s a pretty old button that I’ll definitely be wearing,” said Jelani Marks, president of The FAMU Marcus Garvey Club and junior political science student from Decatur, Ga.
Today is the first day of Black History month, “Why not start off with giving everyone a chance to show their pride,” said Yamilka Crosdale, council member of Sankofa and senior psychology student from the Republic of Panama. “I think it’s a good idea, but we should be proud every day,” said Brown.
Sankofa also has the support of other student organizations. “We definitely support it 100 percent,” said Marks referring to The FAMU Marcus Garvey Club. “Anytime we take a step to connect with our roots, that’s a positive thing.”
“Hopefully today will provide us with inspiration and confidence in our history so that people do so, on a more consistent basis, so that we won’t have to designate one day. It can be everyday or any day that you show your African pride,” said Crosdale.
Crosdale described Sankofa as an organization that “targets what Sankofa stands for, which is learning our roots and understanding our current situation by going back and reevaluating history from our own perspective.”
Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol from Ghana which is popular among people of African descent because it symbolizes the return to African culture and traditions that were forcefully taken away during the period of enslavement. The symbol also symbolizes forward movement or progression while going back to learn about the past. For more information about the Sankofa organization, visit facebook.com/gobacktoyourpast or on Twitter @SankofaFAMU.