I had an experience last night. I was co facilitating a class last night, with a group of woke and with it teachers of color.
Our focus was on how we use the Sankofa lens in the development of our curriculum.
We opened up our session watching a clip of the 1993 movie titled Sankofa:
At the end of the video the participants faces were blank. They had never heard of the principle of Sankofa much less, have watched the movie. Nakeeba described the movie and the movement led by the movie as saying watching this flick was the “woke” person’s rites of passage.
I can’t lie, I was taken aback, by the fact that no one in the group had seen this flick. Especially because I’ve taught whole units using it. Roots and Sankofa were mainstays in my curriculum.
I will admit, a bit of judgment was beginning to seep through during the session when I began remembering what dear Brother Malcolm said.
Doing this racial justice and equity work people often bemoan during sessions that we are preaching to the choir and shouldn’t we be building bridges and reaching out to those who are not like minded as us. I often say, everyone came to choir practice but everyone here is not a part of the choir, don’t know what section they’re in and may not know how to read music. Shoot, some people can’t even sing.
In doing this work, all of us, must remember that we are all at different places and that it is our individual jobs to develop our consciousness and to at all times apply the Sankofa lens to our lives, interactions, experiences and how and what we teach. And that first requires us to dig through the lies our schools and society have taught us and recognize there are truths out there, waiting for us.
If we are going to have a Pan Africanist identity, we have to learn our Pan Africanist history and we’re all going to have to do it together.
Hey, have you watched Sankofa? It’s on Youtube, the entire thing. Take 2 hours, watch, then go read, then act.
Until next time!