A Legacy of Black (& Asian) Intelligence pt. 5: Sankofa at Old Dominion University…
Next Tuesday, I’ll be one of the presenters at an ODU (Old Dominion University’s) event called Sankofa: Distant Relatives, a “multicultural historic celebration of art, culture and social activism.”
>> “You can always undo your mistakes,”
>> “There is nothing wrong with learning from hindsight,” and
>> “It is not taboo to return and get what you have forgotten.”
The traditional symbol for this concept is a mythical bird that flies forward while its head looks back. It reflects the Akan belief that history serves as a guide for the future; that a people should march forward while still retaining lessons and wisdom from their past.
So accordingly, the student group at ODU putting this on (Minds About Progress) is collaborating with several other student groups (Asian Pacific American Student Union, African-Caribbean Association, Filipino-American Student Association, etc.) to build on the history of cross-cultural activism: how people of various backgrounds have always worked to overcome oppression TOGETHER.
Some examples include:
>> Japanese-American Black Panther Guy Kurose, who helped deliver breakfast to schoolchildren and was instrumental in establishing Black Panther/Native American ties in Seattle.
He was also a karate master skilled enough to work out with Bruce Lee (he gave martial arts instruction to other Panthers), and for his continued work in later years, he was nominated for the Black Child Development Award in 1994 (for his work with African-American youth) and received the Pacific Islanders Gratitude Award in 1996.
>> Richard Aoki, another Japanese-American activist who helped create the Black Panther Party (BPP) and mash-out the 10 point program.
>> Langston Hughes was deported from Japan in 1933 for speaking out against the country’s brutality, racism and sexual enslavement of 1000′s of women from Korea, China and the Phillipines, and
She also contributed to the Puerto Rican independence movement and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005…
So one of the main goals with this event is to break down barriers: since people of different backgrounds have always found ways to band together and solve problems, that history serves as a Sankofa-template for the future…the various student groups at ODU brainstorming on how they can come together and make things happen for the future collectively.
Here’s the two main flyers…
Besides the presentations, there’s also some dope, well-known poets scheduled to do their thing (Godchild, Marco and others) and a martial arts demonstration by Spunk Ichiban and the Filipino Fighting Arts Academy.
My main job is to generate interactivity: making sure I get everyone comfortable and involved so that the event stays away from that traditional, boring, lecture vibe. Essentially, I’m there to make sure everybody has fun…
“I’ve seen where united amongst the races yielded positive results…” ~ Richard Aoki
>> More on the Akan People (a group from Ghana/the Ivory Coast)
>> A Legacy of Black Intelligence pt. 2: More on Holistic Health
>> El Rasun’s “Distant Relatives” Historic Image Collection…
>> How to Increase Your Productivity by Having More Fun
>> Understanding & Overcoming Procrastination