Sankofa to host unconventional African-American Heritage program

The Sankofa foundation will be hosting an African-American Heritage production on Thursday, Feb. 28.

“The Sankofa foundation is an organization I created this year to host multiple cultural events throughout the year,” Fred Horn II, a junior majoring in consumer marketing, said. “The mission of the program is to educate students on past history and how it applies to the issues they are facing today.”

The theme of the production is crabs-in-a-barrel mentality based on the Willie Lynch doctrine. Horn added the main goal of the production is to expose students to different cultures and areas.

“The program is based on an analogy used for the black community dealing with support basically,” Horn said. “If you put crabs in a barrel, they will always try to make it to the top, but they will try and pull each other down to make it there. It is trying to encourage support for the black community.

“Willie Lynch was a famous slave owner who created a plan to keep black slaves in bondage for 400 years. Part of his plan was the metaphor of crabs in a barrel. The production plans to take that mentality and zone in on it to show the audience how this has affected college students.”

While Sankofa as a production focuses on African-American history, college students of all backgrounds are encouraged to attend.

“Yes it is a black history program, but it isn’t your typical program,” Horn said. “It is open to all students.”

This free production will be held in the Ferguson Theater at 6:30 p.m.

“The greatest benefit of attending Sankofa is being a part of history on the University’s campus,” Maya Posey, a senior majoring in theatre and criminal justice, said. “Sankofa is a variety show with a central theme that is completely outside of the conventional norms.”

The Sankofa Organization is partnered with the 50-year anniversary Through the Doors program as well as University Programs. “The production will include an actual play and dramatizations,” Horn said. “There will be artistic elements like acting, singing, dancing.The purpose is to educate and encourage students while entertaining them so they can retain the information.”

Posey said the show is not a traditional black history production.

“Students can expect to see a show that challenges the conventional ways of approaching black history,” Posey said. “Sankofa’s purpose is not to merely give factual evidence about famous African-Americans of the past as most black history programs often do. Rather the purpose is to show students, the community, and society as a whole how to progress towards unity by breaking the traditional views of intelligence, beauty and worthiness.”

There will be a precursor to the program held on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in the east dining hall of the Ferguson Center.

“There will be an open discussion on Tuesday that will focus on self identity crisis college students face and how they view themselves and society,” Horn said.

The Sankofa organization uses historical elements to relate to the lives of college students in a modern way.

“As a member of the Sankofa organization, I have began to approach the study of history through a different lens,” said Posey. Horn said the program encourages every student to attend the organization.

“The program is really tailored to all college students and the issues they are facing right now,” Horn said. “We use past historical documents and show how they relate to college students in today’s society.”

“It’s ironic because the mold that Sankofa is trying to break, is a hurdle that even the cast members and executive board face constantly,” Posey said. “We’re overcoming obstacles during the process, that ultimately we hope others will overcome after seeing the show.”

Any students interested in joining the Sankofa organization can ?nd out more about becoming a member on UASankofa Twitter and Facebook pages.

“I would encourage students to come see the show because not only is it entertaining, it challenges you to improve,” Posey said.

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