Sankofa Spotlight

Illustration by Marisa McCarthy

Illustration by Marisa McCarthy

Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana with a literal translation of “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind” — with the implication that the knowledge of the past must never be forgotten.

If it happened… If it was accomplished… It deserves to be told.

Inspired by the Sankofa principle, we spotlight the stories of well-known and unsung sheroes whose bodies were used for medical experiments without their consent. In addition, we assert and uplift the contributions of Black women to the medical, science, and health fields in this country. By keeping these stories alive, we honor our ancestral memory in order to connect the past to the present and focus the gaze of history on neglected truths.

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler

Acknowledging Dr. Rebecca Crumpler

By Resilient Sisterhood Project

Dr. Rebecca Lee Crumpler was born in Delaware on February 8th, 1831. She was raised in Pennsylvania by her aunt, who was known as a caretaker for the sick. A bright child, Crumpler moved to Massachusetts and attended the prestigious private school, the West Newton English and Classical School. Inspired by her aunt, she then…

Fannie Lou Hamer

Remembering Fannie Lou Hamer

By Resilient Sisterhood Project

Fannie Lou Hamer was born in Montgomery County, Mississippi on October 6, 1917. She was the 20th, and last, child of sharecroppers. Hamer and her siblings all grew up in poverty. As a result, she began working, picking up cotton with her family at the age of 6. By age 12, she completely left school…

Henrietta Lacks

Remembering Henrietta Lacks

By Resilient Sisterhood Project

Recognizing the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: Henrietta Lacks was born on August 1, 1920 in Roanoke, Virginia. Her mother died during childbirth in 1924 and her father moved her and her 9 siblings to another town in Virginia, where he gave all his kids away to be raised by relatives. As a result, Lacks…

Gwen Ifill

Remembering Gwen Ifill

By Resilient Sisterhood Project

The Resilient Sisterhood Project is delighted about the recognition of the legacy of the much beloved Gwen Ifill by the US Postal Service. On January 30th, 2020 USPS unveiled the 43rd postage stamp in the Black Heritage Series, featuring Ifill. Gwen Ifill was born on September 29, 1955, in New York City. Growing up, her…