In May of 2005, I graduated from the Pennsylvania State University on a warm spring day. Prior to my graduation, my school’s Black Caucus held a “Sankofa” Kente Stole ceremony where all of us graduates received a Kente Stole with "Class of 2005" written on both sides. I wore this stole on my graduation day on that rare warm State College day.
I waited anxiously and excitedly for my name to be called. As my name was called I marched up the stage to receive my diploma. The Dean handing out the diplomas quickly shook hands with everyone in front of me and kept them marching on without missing a beat. When I got to him, he stopped everything he was doing. He looked at my Kente Stole in awe, touched it and commented on how beautiful it was – right in front of the entire stadium. I couldn’t help but to feel special and to stand a little taller wearing that stole. Knowing that the stole was handmade in Ghana, the motherland, only added to the pride I felt. On that day, the seed for Sankofa Edition™ was planted.
Sankofa Edition™ seeks to honor every graduate who has earned the right to wear a Kente Stole on their graduation day. My goal is to make sure that you feel as special on your graduation day as I felt on mine. Thank you for making Sankofa Edition™ your choice for Kente Graduation Stoles.
Sankofa is a Ghanaian word which means "it is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”The word is a combination of the words: san (return), ko (go), fa (seek and take).
“Sankofa” teaches us to go back to our roots in order to move forward. That is, we should reach back and gather the best of our past so that we can achieve our full potential to move forward.
Whatever we have lost, forgotten, forgone, or been stripped of can be reclaimed, revived, preserved, and perpetuated. Visually and symbolically, “Sankofa” is expressed as a bird that flies forward while looking backward with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth.
Sankofa Edition™ is an expression of this mantra and provides a way for everyone to express their affinity for African culture.