SankofaNow is a program that culminates in a journey through the Republic of Ghana, West Africa. We explore the historical, scientific, theological, psychological, sociological and artistic dimensions of racial reconciliation and human wholeness and flourishing. The trip includes visits to significant historical sites and relevant educational institutions, and meetings with local educators, artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, among others. The sites include W. E. B. DuBois Museum, Slave Dungeons, a tour of Accra, Ghana’s capital, visit to renowned artist Kwame Akoto-Bamfo’s Nkyimkyim Installation in Ada, and the Manhyia Palace, seat of the Ashanti Kingdom, etc.
City tour the nation’s capital with a historian, visit the final resting places of 2 great visionaries: Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of the Republic of Ghana and W. E. B. DuBois. The Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum/Museum and Memorial Park is located at the site of the declaration of Ghana’s Independence. William Edward Burghardt DuBois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. He was also one of the founders for the NAACP in 1909. While you are here, we encourage you to consider the quote from DuBois below and your answers to the questions raised therein. ”
“How shall Integrity face Oppression? What shall Honesty do in the face of Deception, Decency in the face of Insult, Self Defense before Blows? How shall Desert and Accomplishment meet Despising, Detraction, and Lies? What shall Virtue do to meet Brute Force? There are so many answers and so contradictory; and such difference for those on the one hand who meet questions similar to this once a year or once a decade, and those who face them hourly and daily.”
Thu, Feb 2 | Ada Foah
A day of reflection and lament possibly with renowned Ghanaian artist, Kwame Akoto-Bamfo
Nkyinkyim derived from the Adinkra symbol meaning “twists and turns” is representative of the African story. The story of people of African descent is one of may twists and turns. One of the biggest outdoor museums is Ghana, it does an excellent job in capturing the many aspects of the complex African story. Nkyinkyim installation or the Ancestor Project is a 10-year evolving art installation, primarily, sculptured heads designed to tell the story of the toll of African loss due to Atlantic Slave Trade. The loss of over 12 million African lives is a true human tragedy.
Fri, Feb 3 & 4 | Bonwire & Ntonso | Kumawu, Ashanti Region
Bonwire & Ntonso
Bonwire is the original home of the Kente cloth. We have opportunity to interact with the artisans, and learn more about their craft, names of some of the patterns and their meanings. You will also have an opportunity to purchase genuine Kente cloth if you so desire. Ntonso is home of the Adinkra print. Adinkra are symbols that represent concepts or aphorisms.
The Kumawuman Museum Network represents one of the hidden cultural gems in Ghana as a whole and the Ashanti Region in particular. “Historically and culturally, many part of Ghana is organized around the traditional area (“Oman”) with a Paramount Chief (Omanhene). Within that traditional area are a number of satelite villages and towns around the capital of the Oman. The Kumawuman Museum Network is based on this concept. Kumawu is the capital of the Kumawu Traditional Area or “Kumawuman.” Kumawu is a town that pre-dates the formation of the Ashanti Kingdom, and was one of the founding state of the Ashanti Empire some 300 years ago. the Kumawu Traditional Area is large, covering approximately 2% of the landmass in Ghana.” The museums of interest are Kumawu Palace Museum, Bodwease Palace Museum, Bodomase Palace Museum and the NYU CTED Arts Area.
Sun, Feb 5 | Manhyia
Mon, Feb 6 | Save Our Lives | Assin Manso
SAVE OUR LIVES
ASSIN MANSO–The River of Last Bath
CAPE COAST & ELMINA
Visit the castles with their churches and dungeons in Elmina Castle, built in 1482 by the Portuguese first as a trading post, remains the oldest European building south of the Sahara. The castle changed hands several times and finally ended up in British hands in 1872. Like many of European encounter with Africa, what started out a trading post, later became one of the most important stops in the Atlantic Slave Trade. Like Elmina, the Cape Coast Castle, was established by the Portuguese in 1555 as a trading post, later became a major transition post during the Atlantic Slave Trade.
Fri, Feb 10 | Royal Museum for Central Africa
Royal Museum of Central Africa
The Royal Africa Museum colloquially known as the Africa Museum, is an ethnography and natural history museum situated in Tervuren in Flemish Brabant, Belgium, just outside Brussels. It was built to showcase King Leopold II’s Congo Free State in the 1897 World Exhibition. It was originally designed to a particular story, a story of the king’s benevolent exploits. However, it has been redesigned to tell a more comprehensive story of Leopold’s exploits as one might find in King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild.
An immersion trip that uses inter-group dialogue strategies facilitated by experienced leaders. It is designed to affect the whole person—mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical.
- Multidimensional—It seeks to affect the whole person—mind, heart and body. The first two—mind and heart—are easily understood. History, and the telling of it, impacts how we think and feel(1). What has been neglected until recently is the physical impact of enduring racism, injustice, and trauma and re-traumatization. We know emotional trauma has physical impact. (2)
- Multidisciplinary—The history of race, racism and of Africans in the New World is tainted by so many mixed motivations that to unravel it requires serious engagement with all the various arguments that shaped the existing narratives. Those arguments have at times been theological, scientific, historical, sociological, psychological, etc. The readings and discussions will cover history, science, theology, sociology, psychology among other disciplines.
- Immersion— The trip is designed to put participants in contact with the daily realities of life in the country. Whenever possible, we will interact with local professionals, artisans, educators, etc.. This is not intended for tourists, who would like to stay in fancy hotels and sip their Piña Colada. This is first and foremost an educational opportunity constructed to stimulate the whole person. It is meant to be a transformational experience. We will visit many places, perhaps even more places than the average tour, but our framework and the motivation for these visits are different. We seek to educate and transform.
(1)L Comas-Díaz and F M Jacobsen, “Ethnocultural Allodynia,” The Journal Of Psychotherapy Practice And Research 10, no. 4 (2001 Fall 2001): 246–52.
(2)Allison Crawford, “If ‘The Body Keeps the Score’: Mapping the Dissociated Body in Trauma Narrative, Intervention, and Theory,” no. 2 (2010): 702, https://doi.org/10.1353/utq.2010.0231.