PHOTO COURTESY OF DANTE ‘ O FILLYAU
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A 12-foot monument to the rich history and a hopeful future for the core of Fort Lauderdale was unveiled in Sistrunk Park on March 26 as a part of the city’s ongoing revitalization efforts.
The monument is a bronze statue of a mythical bird from Ghana’s Ashante tribe that depicts the Akan concept of Sankofa, which in the Twi language means, “It is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.”
The erection of the West African symbol celebrates The Trailblazers of Broward County, Inc.’s “Gateway to the Northwest” project, memorializing the legacy of Sistrunk’s early pioneers, who through entrepreneurship, ensured prosperity to the all-black community amid segregation. Sonya Burrows, Vice President of the Trailblazers of Broward County, Inc. said “I am excited that we have a permanent structure that serves as a testament to the history of this community. This will be our legacy, etched in stone and it will help the younger people to understand their rich history, and hopefully inspire them to do even better and greater things.”
The concept of Sankofa serves as an important reflection, teaching each generation to seek guidance from the past as they strive for a greater future, a concept that is indicative of Sistrunk’s rich history. “It is significant that we choose such a symbol, said District 9 Commissioner Dale Holness, “It is one that basically says we are here today, we are cognizant of our past but we are going forward. It is really dynamic especially in this day and age.”