Drawings About the Diaspora

Sankofa


Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol from the ancient Akan tribe of Ghana meaning  “go back and get it.”  It is represented by a stylized heart and a bird with its head turned backward to take an egg or seed from the past to plant /nurture in the future. Sankofa best expresses the guiding force behind my work— to retrieve wisdom from the past that has been lost or taken away, in order to reclaim and reshape it as we move ahead toward our full potential.

In the colored pencil drawings below, I have re-combined elements from past drawings and prints in order to tell the African-American story of being uprooted from our homeland and then re-rooted in a new and hostile environment. We have spilled our life’s blood in captivity, struggled and labored to rise up from oppression. 

Emergence
11″ x 15″
Across the Water, Through the Fire, and Into the Air
11″ x 16″
Out of the Flower
15″ x 12″
Out of the Flower 2
16″ x 19″
Captives
20″ x 15″

Out of the Flower 3
18″ x 24″

On Bended Knees
18″ x 16″
Rooted
18″ x 15″
Life’s Blood
20″ x 16″
Reaching
20″ x 15″

Life Mask
16″ x 24″