Sankofa Reflection 2022: Weeping for My Ancestors
Growing up as an African American woman, I learned about my racial identity as a young person. However, the 2022 Sankofa Journey to Harmony trip taught me a lot about barbaric behavior as it relates to racial identity. It opened my eyes to the many ways white people have created an unjust system to oppress Black and Brown people and to get them to conform. Many types of cruel behavior have been inflicted on them and what I witnessed was really unbelievable.
The trip was indescribable; so much so that at the end of the trip all I could do was weep for the pain and suffering that my ancestors had to live through.
The Legacy Museum and Lynching Memorial were very impactful for me. At the Legacy Museum, I was given a vivid picture and clear understanding of how injustice toward African American people started, how it has shown up throughout history, and how it still continues to show up today. It is absolutely amazing yet exhausting to see the many systems and obstacles that oppress African American people.
The trip was indescribable; so much so that at the end of the trip all I could do was weep for the pain and suffering that my ancestors had to live through. It was very hard to see and even harder to grasp how someone could do something so inhuman to God’s people based on the color of their skin.
Not once did I feel that something was trying to be fabricated or hidden.
I enjoyed meeting new people and have shared my learnings with many family members, friends, and co-workers and recommended that they all go on the journey. The narration and leadership of Nina Barnes and Carl Nelson was great as they both had intensive knowledge about African American history and the injustices that have taken place. Not once did I feel that something was trying to be fabricated or hidden. I appreciated the authenticity of the group and that the trip was a safe place to process thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Visiting the different sites was an experience that I would not otherwise have had on my own and I truly believe I would do the trip all over again.
Written by Sankofa participant.