Sankofa is a Ghanaian akansha symbol system--one of the eight created by Africans to communicate among each other. It literally translates to "look to the past to inform the future." This sheds light on the struggles of enslaved African peoples; though long gone, slavery is still a large chunk of African American history, and should be acknowledged rather than forgotten in order to move forward productively. The symbol itself is depicted by a bird which appears to be moving forward while looking back, supporting the idea of incorporating the aspects of the past into the future. Furthermore, this symbol bears resemblance to the symbols that enslaved Africans retained despite subjection.
Last updated: November 10, 2015