Sankofa comes from a concept that's known all over Africa, primarily West Africa, and what it means is you go back and you get it, and you bring it with you. So the knowledge, the heritage, the lineage and ancestral work that's been done–you get what your people have built and you bring it forth with you. It's a way to connect the current, the present with the past, and then look forward to the future. It is symbolized by a bird flying but looking back and in its beak is an egg.
Event Coordinator Shakita Thomas Kpetay says the series begins as youth facilitated conversations, out of which themes are selected. It ends with a publication being released at an annual event.
The publication for this year's event is Perilous Times: Defending and Defining the Spirit of Black Media. The publication on Black media will be coming out April 3, at another event that we're hosting with the UofM journalism department. We hope that it's educational, for not just Black people but for everybody.
Rekhet Si-Asar says this year’s theme centers on those journalists whose work is a product of the community, for the community.
There's just a large group of folks that have been inspired and have taken the activism piece and put it in their reporting because they recognize the fact that we have not always been dealt a good hand in terms of the narratives that's gone out about us, and so it's good to see not just Black faces, but Black faces actually telling Black stories, and actually looking for authentic truths that they can share.
In terms of In Black Ink, we're just here to really help change this narrative of people who are in our industry, whether it be print ,videos, the story collections we're doing, the events that we put together–it's worth something. All of what we're doing is really to make sure that we capture us at this time in place and be able to have it be held as a part of the archive for future generations.
The event is free and open to the public - you can find out more at InBlackInk.org.