The mission of the Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures, Inc. is to bridge the gap between the untold story of Africa and what is generally shown on TV or what little is taught in American classrooms.
“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”
-Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER
My name is Esther Kiki Armstrong, I am the owner of Sankofa African & World Bazaar, a specialty shop offering African tribal art, ethnic clothing and assorted gifts located in Baltimore. We have been a staple in Baltimore's community of Old Goucher for over 21 years! I am originally from Ghana and have lived in the US for over 30 years, helping to run our shop and providing cultural information to our clients on an informal basis.
Last year, during the celebration of Black History Month, a few of us hosted a pilot cultural program in Baltimore which allowed us to share our knowledge of African history with 3rd & 4th graders from 2 public Elementary Schools.One of the goals of our project was to measure how well our youth would respond to the stories of great African civilizations and cultures before the period of slavery. We wanted to establish that Africa is not a country, nor does its story start with slavery.
Why did we do this? We feel strongly, as the famous quote (above) by Marcus Garvey indicates, that by empowering African American youth with the pride and respect that comes from the knowledge of their history and connection to their roots, we would be making a major contribution to their sense of identity and self-esteem, and perhaps help promote more positive behavior, growth, and community relations.
During our February program, students, parent-chaperones and teachers not only heard and learned about previous and current African cultures, but interacted with different aspects of them, including dress, musical instruments, tribal art, personal artistry and story-telling. We were inspired to offer this chance experience to our children every day of the year, not just during Black History Month!
We seek to close the knowledge gap in our communities in terms of African history and cultures by opening and operating a world-class living and interactive children’s African museum in Baltimore. From our research, this would be the first such museum in the United States where learning about African cultures and heritage can be fun and geared towards kids! We are sure that this place will have a special meaning for those children of African descent, and be an experience they've never been fully offered before. And, going a step further, we would love to spread the power of knowledge and joy to many more children, with your help!
We are also looking to collaborate with other similar organizations in Baltimore which are in the business of educating children and perhaps making a difference in their lives, so please reach out to us from your village to ours! We truly believe that this venture is destined to make an impact not only here locally but can also become a huge tourist attraction for people all over the country and an economic asset for Baltimore.
Please feel free to contact us with any inquiries/questions and we would be happy to forward to you any additional information that you require.
We hope you will support us, will visit us &
We thank you in advance for your consideration,
The Sankofa Team
Sankofa Children’s Museum of African Cultures, Inc
2442 N Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218