Sankofa Chicago Documentary Introduction

Podcast Notes

Welcome to Tellers of the Untold I’m Vanessa, I’m your host. I’m excited to be here today on this particular episode, and I’m just going to balking to you a little bit about the documentary, Sankofa. Chicago, it’s something that is just been a real joy for me to do, especially during the time of COVID. Thank you to the Illinois Arts Council for making this happen. Thank you for Columbia College, for your assistance and the equipment and so much more. And thank you to Fractured Atlas for helping as a fiscal sponsor. So for those of you guys that are not familiar with the documentary, St. cofa, Chicago, St. kofa means to fetch it to go back and fetch it. So we are talking about how important it is for us to go back and in time, meaning history, and learn our history in order for us to move forward. And so sankofa comes from the TWI t wi language, and Ghana. In this documentary, you’ll find out a little bit about Ghana and like what cinco for means from a gentleman named Nana who’s a Ghanian. Here in Chicago, I created this documentary first, just to have a huge undertaking of research for myself and my kids, having two black boys, just raised in Chicago and raised in the United States in general is hard enough. This is I started this process before the whole George Floyd. Black Lives Matter. Not movement, because the movements been going for a while, the recent movement of with George Floyd. So this, it started prior to that, but it just so happens that it was coming into play during all of that. So it worked out because now more people are interested in hearing what this story is all about. I wanted to make it larger at first, like my my mind was like, I want to just explode and just kind of like find out why it’s so important for us to know our history and in like in order to shape our future of our black community. So I wanted to figure out what is going on in this black community, like what is going on? And how can we fix it. I know I’m one person, one woman, but the way that I work I work for creatively. So I’m working through film telling my story and what I’m trying to portray through the documentary. I wanted to incorporate something larger, but the storyline is so big that it made more sense to focus starting in Chicago, since that’s where I am right now. And to start here is is evident of just what’s really going on elsewhere. Because most of you guys know Chicago has a large black population. That said, we have a lot of black history here that I was not even aware of after doing some research. And I find it very fascinating some of the discoveries of that. But what’s going to happen is, through this project, it’s been such a success, I would say as far as the topic, I know I have some some improvement to make. In each episode I make when I’m as I say that I’m I want is this is going to be created into a docu series. So we’ll have like St. Cova, Chicago, and maybe four or six episodes of that, then we’ll have go on to another city like Chicago, Sankofa, Columbus, Ohio, Sakofa, Nashville, Sankofa, Atlanta, and find now you know what’s going on in those particular cities and getting to the roots of things, but also finding out Hmm, what Black History figures out of this particular city? Do we not know about? Or should we honor or should we? And you know, and and I want to stress enough that when I say Black History figures, a lot of this is just not necessarily people that we know, and what you’ll or that will learn in the schools and so forth. So we will see in the film too, that a lot of people say well, all we learn about all our kids learn about is Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, which is true, but it’s it’s fascinating to know specific details about these individuals as well. I do use

Example of Martin Luther King in the film, although I think every single person in this world of the age of three and up know who he is. But one thing that’s significant about Martin Luther King is you would not think he’s related to Chicago at all. That is not true. Should he? He lived here in Chicago in the 1960s, two years before he passed, he was killed. And he helped lead a movement here a rigged against segregation. And that’s something that a lot of people don’t know. And he had a large presence here and a lot to do with this with you know, the segregation of the city. So we do mention that and then some other people that are related to the in the film, so I use some kids of all different backgrounds, not just black, not you know, I went from ages three to nine, and asked them and showed them a chart and asked them, okay, do you know any of these six characters, or six individuals, one of them being Martin Luther King, one of them being Jesse Owens, I to be wells, Bessie Coleman. I added Kanye West in that bunch, because I just wanted to just see like for generations, with more people know somebody more current than somebody like back in the day his most historical although Kanye, I’m you may love him or hate him. He did make history as far as through hip hop music, and with his Grammy Awards, at least for now. The other part of that is we I just asked them hey, do you guys, are you familiar with them, and I also included President Obama, pretty much everybody knew President Obama. Everyone knew Martin Luther King. Lot of people, everybody, but one person knew Bessie Coleman, everybody, but one group of kids knew Jesse Owens, no one knew I to be wells. So it’s, it’s fascinating was, you know, just kind of doing my little sociological research on what the findings were. And a few minutes, I’m going to play the trailer for you. For those of you guys that haven’t seen it. Yet, if you don’t see it, it’s okay, you can still here and for those of you guys that are unable to view my documentary through visually, I’m still working on auto description for the blind. Unfortunately, it’s not cheap to get that done. I’m grateful for the funding that I have. But I’m still trying to raise $500 more to get the audio description. So if you want to donate and would love to donate to get the audio description for the blind, you can go to the website at Tellers Untold comm slash documentary, or just go to Tellers, Untold, click on the link documentary, and underneath that you’ll see a link it says Fractured Atlas, under Fractured Atlas, if you click on that, it’ll take you to the page. That’s the fiscal sponsor, so they are 501 c three, so all your donations are tax deductible. So when you submit that money, they get the money and I send them a request and let them know what I’m using that money for. So this is completely legit. But I really want to do something to help those that aren’t visually able to see the product that I have, it’s very important. So please donate even if it’s $10 A little goes a long ways and hopefully we’ll we’ll make that target in the next few months.

So anyways, I just want to share a few other things other a few things related to the film, I had sent the the actual full length film, to to screen for the cast and crew and family members and so forth. So as a private screening, I can allow it to be public yet because it’s hopefully we’ll get some kind of Film Festival selection which I’ve submitted to maybe five right now. And hopefully I will submit two more and other potential deals. One of the comments and I like to get feedback because it helps me with you know, future films, especially Episode Two. Don’t feel like if you if there’s something negative that you can’t tell me but I really would appreciate it. One of the I’m going to read this text you one person said I just finished it. Loved it. The diverse perspectives from kids and adults that I irony displayed. It was well done, you better go girl. Okay, so that was one. Another one. Because I’m not going to just read all the the really good stuff, though another person had told me that they’re on watched it. And, and thank you for your donation on. She said that she believed that it shouldn’t have been any white people in the film, and that it’s more of a black issue in and as you see that text that I just read, they kind of said the opposite. I included and if you haven’t seen the film, I included a large, diverse cast to interview because I feel like this is not just a black issue, even though it talks about we talk about black people. But I feel like knowing your history has to do with, we need to know our history as black people, but the white people do too, because that’s part of their history. And they need to know all of what’s going on. And they no need to know that to understand us too. So that I believe is important. Another feedback they received was she said she loved the film, the only thing was that she couldn’t understand the gentleman from Ghana. So he starts off he you know, he does have an accent. He starts off we had it in subtitles with the twit Twi language. And we did that just to make it more authentic. And but we did not put English, English captures under it. So far, she’s the only one that said that. But we’ll also have closed captioning on each film. So maybe that will help out. But I like to see what other people are saying as well. Another person told me that hold on I Oh, one other person said that they did not agree with a social worker in the film related to what the police officers said about police in school so that that’s something that was included at the very end of the film, because then we go into talking about black history and end it with how do we shape the future of our black community here in Chicago. So that was something that we can, you know, take to think about another here’s another one, just saw the documentary. It’s so amazing. Vanessa, I am so thankful that we got to be part of it.

So that was obviously these are the people that were in it. So I would love for any of you that are listening. And that would like to see a private screening of the documentary, email me at info at Tellers I will send you a private link with a private passcode and I would really like your feedback on it. And again, it’s a private whatever but I will allow that for at least you know anybody that emails me within the next within the really within the next month. I’ll do that. So with that said, I am going to play now the trailer for you guys. I hope you guys enjoy and email me again if you’d like to see the full length version, take care guys and stay safe. This is Chicago, its population is 2.7 million. And it’s known for its history, food, jazz and unfortunately it shootings I decided to conduct some research on the future of our black children starting here in Chicago, but to know one’s future you must know your past.


I was brought up in a home where my father really enjoy talking about black history.

We should have a program that’s an all of our schools heroes

we must never forget. And I think we were failing to forget that even never did during that time. Were you taught

black history in school. No, no one no black history, nothing. Nothing like that.

People that does not do not know their history are doomed to repeat it. Yeah, we have Keep our history in mind and know that slavery existed and know what our parents wouldn’t put on our grandparents.

I used to want to be a police officer, but since all this protesting and they’re not being as nice to the black people, they’ve been hurting black.

It needs to stop. These kids are gonna shape the future. I think they are shaping the future. As you can see, like with these protests, who are on the front line,

I would advise them just to stay in school, stay in school and be active in your community and of all most importantly go out and vote.

it’s incumbent upon those of us who are in positions of leadership, to do the best we can to pass on or to a mind Archer,

this is who you are. This is who you are. This is what you are. We know each other number one, they need to know that again, doing what ever to make Black Lives Matter more

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