Embracing the Power of Sankofa

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

By: Jernessa Cruickshank

“Go back and fetch what you forgot.” What does this West African saying mean to you?

Hi, my name is Jernessa Cruickshank, and I am a senior psychology major at SUNY College at Old Westbury. I’ve been a part of the Jr. Moxxie mentoring program for two years, and it has provided me with various leadership opportunities, and courage to move forward in my future as a young Black entrepreneur. In honor of Black history month, I will be acknowledging the symbol of Sankofa, and how we can all honor the wisdom from it.

Sankofa is a metaphorical symbol that represents wholeness. It teaches us that going back to our past, and reflecting on it, can provide us wisdom to move forward in our future. However, reflecting on our past is not always easy, we must be gentle, forgiving, and loving to ourselves so we can heal to move forward.

Black History Month is a time and space of celebration where everyone is able to embrace the power of Sankofa. Expressing gratitude is the highest form of love when we acknowledge our past, present, and future.

Being a young black woman in America comes with many challenges, but I am thankful for the individuals that walked before me because they all paved a way for me to walk the path I am on now. Moreover, Black history roots are deep and strong. It is more than pain and suffering. Black history is love, resiliency, strength, truth, power, and courage, and so much more. Honoring Sankofa can help us understand the power of wholeness and respecting the history of Black history not only in the month of February, but every single day.

Furthermore, I would like to say thank you to Beth Meixner, Founder of Moxxie Mentoring Foundation, for paving a way in creating an organization that empowers women from different walks of life, and providing me a space to use my voice in honoring myself and people. To the readers, thank you for taking the time to read my piece and may you honor the wisdom of Sankofa in your respective journeys. Love and light.

Jernessa Cruickshank is a student at SUNY Old Westbury, Class of 2021. She is majoring in psychology, with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.

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