Sankofa to Honor Black America in a Time of Increased Activism


Joshua Price

Senior Jamie Semel sings a cover of “At Last” by Eta James during Sankofa preview Feb. 26, 2016.

Sankofa is an annual event celebrating African-American history but this year, people seem to appreciate it even more.

Sankofa invites you to their 2016 show, ‘Dear Black America,’ in the large auditorium Feb. 26 and 27.

“Sankofa is a celebration of black history,” senior Sankofa Band Task Leader Chris Gillooly wrote. “Sankofa is also a creative outlet for artists that aren’t recognized in other extracurricular activities.”

“I think Sankofa is very important because it shows basically all of our talent,” freshman Sankofa participant Myyah Husamadeen wrote. “Sometimes people underestimate us African-Americans, but we really get to showcase our talent and have a great performance for Black History Month since our school barely acknowledged it.”

The sold-out show will feature a diverse group of students showcasing talents that include dancing, singing and acting. “Sankofa gives these musicians a time to shine,” Gillooly wrote.

“This concept can also be applied to dance, rap, spoken word, acting, etc.” Husamadeen believes spoken word stands out as the strongest portion of the show. “It clearly gets the message across we are trying to portray,” she wrote.

Staying true to its celebration, the performance will also provide the audience with facts about African-American historians and musicians. “I think it’s important that we acknowledge black history because our curriculum and textbooks don’t go as in depth as I would like,” Gillooly wrote.

“I think the show will turn out really well because I hear a lot of people are excited and we have worked really hard,” Husamadeen wrote.

This year’s performance comes after an interval of increased awareness and concern about racial injustice nationally that includes activism spurred by The Black Lives Matter movement.

“Everyone involved in Sankofa is excited, but this year they seem especially excited, especially the leaders,” Gillooly wrote. “But based on the reactions of the assembly, and the very positive response at our first-ever middle school performance, I think it’ll turn out just fine.”

If you’ve gotten your ticket, join Sankofa in the large auditorium tonight at 7 p.m., or on Saturday at 1 p.m., for a black history celebration.  

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