A symbol of wisdon and learning from the past to build for the future (Literal meaning: Go Back to Fetch It)
Sankofa means "go back to the past in order to build for the future," or we should not forget our past when moving ahead. Sankofa is a realization of self and spirit. It represents the concepts of self-identity, redefinition and vision. It symbolizes an understanding of one's destiny and collective identity of the larger cultural group.
Sankofa is symbolic of the spiritual mind-set and cultural awakening African people were experiencing in the decades after independence on the African continent. The Sankofa bird is used to represent Sankofa. The symbol is of a bird turning its head backward and its long beak is turned in the direction of its tail.
-The Adinkra Dictionary by Bruce Willis
The Sankofa Freedom Award was established in 2005 by the African American Resource Center and the Tulsa Library Trust. The purpose of this bi-annual award is to recognize a nationally prominent author whose life's work positively addresses the range and complexity of cultural, economic and political issues affecting the greater African-American community.
The award consists of an engraved crystal plaque and a prize of $7,000. The recipient will give a public address on the day of the awards presentation.
A Sankofa Author Selection Committee appointed by the AARC Coordinator determines the candidates for the award, without receipt of any applications from authors, publishers or outside nominators.