Raquel Egbuonu on this year’s Black History Month theme at Dropbox: Sankofa
As we kick off Black History Month, we spoke with Raquel Egbuonu, co-lead of BlackDropboxers, about what this year’s theme means to her.
Sankofa has a very special meaning. The word means “go back and get it” in the Twi language of Ghana, but for me it’s so much more.
Sankofa is a reminder to be mindful of every lesson and experience my ancestors and I have had, in order to make future decisions and experiences more meaningful. The Sankofa symbol is represented by either a heart shape or a bird with its head turned inwards. In my case, this heart-shaped symbol has served as an anchor for me since college and can be found on the inside corner of my left ankle.
The symbol reminds me to avoid the blunders of the past and repeat only the things that serve my aim and purpose. It instills pride and responsibility in me so that one day my children will be able to reflect on my experiences to help them navigate the world. There is so much power in owning the elements of our past for us to tap into.
My father used to say, “The decisions you make today impact how you live tomorrow.” Sankofa is a constant reminder to look inward for my power and live audaciously on purpose.
The Black experience is wrapped in so much strength that when considering all we have been through, one cannot help but thrive. The sacrifices my ancestors made are why I am here today and must never be forgotten. They paved the way for me and those around the world who share in my heritage. It would be foolish to let their sacrifices and pain be in vain.
That’s why we chose Sankofa as the theme for Black History Month — to remind ourselves not only of how far we’ve come, but where we have yet to go. In order to grow we need to learn from our mistakes and our triumphs, to be better leaders and better people for those that come after us.