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Year Of Return
WHAT IS YEAR OF RETURN?
The “Year of Return, Ghana 2019” is a major landmark spiritual and birth-right journey inviting the Global African family, home and abroad, to mark 400 years of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in Jamestown, Virginia. The arrival of enslaved Africans marked a sordid and sad period, when our kith and kin were forcefully taken away from Africa into years of deprivation, humiliation and torture. While August 2019 marks 400 years since enslaved Africans arrived in the United States, “The Year of Return, Ghana 2019” celebrates the cumulative resilience of all the victims of the Trans Atlantic slave Trade who were scattered and displaced through the world in North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.
H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
(President of the Republic of Ghana)
THE MEANING OF SANKOFA
“The Sankofa represents the importance of learning from the past.”
Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana that translates to “Go back and get it” (san – to return; ko – to go; fa – to fetch, to seek and take) and also refers to the Asante Adinkra symbol represented by a bird with its head turned backwards while its feet face forward carrying a precious egg in its mouth.
The principle of Sankofa was the guiding principle behind Ghana’s YEAR OF RETURN, celebrated in 2019, which marked 400 years from the arrival of the first slave ship from Africa to the State of Virginia in the USA. The Sankofa beckons you to come back or look back at the history, heritage, and heroes of Africa. As the ancient African proverb states;” It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.”
The image on the obverse (front) of the medallion is the logo for YEAR OF RETURN and BEYOND THE RETURN. It is made up of several Adinkra symbols, primarily the “FAWOHODIE” . Together they symbolize independence, freedom, emancipation, and harmony.