The word Sankofa, originating in Ghana, means "Go back and get it" in the Twi language, and the concept is often represented by the image of a bird flying forward while looking behind. It's an appropriate concept for a museum of history, as in the case of Robinsonville, Mississippi's Museum de Sankofa. Founded a decade ago by Stanley and Maxine Taylor, the museum is dedicated to West African art, music and culture, drawing heavily on the Taylors' private collection, amassed during their own extensive travels in the area. It also celebrates the African influences on the blues and Mississippi culture in general.
It's an inspiring labor of love and cultural pride in a landscape dominated by casinos, and a welcome diversion for those flocking to the area for typically more hedonistic activities. In addition to their museum's celebration of African culture, the Taylors have begun the "Preserving the Heritage Benefit and Awards Ceremony," now in its second year. The ceremony is happening tonight in Robinsonville, with this year's honorees being blues legend Bobby Rush and local community leader and advocate Joan Richardson. All proceeds will benefit the museum and its youth engagement programs, and tickets include a dinner buffet, a silent auction, a tour of the museum, a live concert performance, and a meet and greet with the honorees.
Preserving the Heritage Benefit and Awards Ceremony, Feb. 10th, Blues Belt Entertainment Complex, (3468 Casino Way, Robinsonville, MS), 6:00-9:00 pm. See www.preservingtheheritage.myevent.com for tickets and more information.