Sankofa is a term from the West African Akan language meaning “going back to the past in order to move forward.” Evoking that concept, our Sankofa program focuses on the many cultures of West Africa whose people were brought to Rhode Island by the transatlantic slave trade. Participants will study about the experiences of enslaved Africans in Rhode Island, the roles of Rhode Islanders in ending slavery, and the contributions African Americans have made and continue to make in our society. This program can be adjusted for a more in-depth study of Black Heritage or maintain a Rhode Island focus depending on the needs of your curriculum.
Teachers needing to meet standards will find that Sankofa addresses Common Core ELA standards by teaching students how to act like historians, use cultural objects as primary resources, “read” cultural objects, and use academic vocabulary. Exposure to this program will also help students “come to understand other perspectives and cultures.”* Reading, writing, and listening exercises included in the Sankofa: African Americans in Rhode Island curriculum packet cover additional Common Core standards.
* Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, page 7
Additional Rhode Island Standards
Civics & Government: Standards C&G 5(K-8)-1; C&G 5(K-8)-2
Historical Perspectives: Standards HP 1(K-8)-1; HP 2(K-8)-1; HP 2(K-8)-2; HP 2(K-8)-3; HP 3(3-8)-1; HP 3(K-8)-2
Visual Art and Design: Standard VA&D 2(K-8)-1
Music: Standards M 2(K-8)-2; M 2(5-6)-2
Social Science: (Gr. 4): 4.15B; (Gr. 5): 5.12
Arts (Gr. 4): Visual Arts: Standard 5; Music: Standard 3