BOB SLOAN Editor
The sounds of drumbeats carried across Timrod Park and beyond Saturday as people of all races and backgrounds took in the sights and sounds of the 19th annual Sankofa African Heritage and Culture Festival.
The festival featured musicians, dancers and other performers from across the state. Some even traveled from out of state to take part in the event held Independence Day weekend every year.
As festivalgoers took shade under trees and fanned themselves to cool off from the 90-degree temperatures, members of the LaRocque Bey School of Dance in Harlem, New York, entertained the crowd with West African dance moves. They then called members of the crowd to come forward and join in a large dance circle.
Not far from the stage were vendors selling traditional African clothing and jewelry. Colorful head wraps, kufis and kente sashes easily caught the attention of passersby.
Artwork from Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal were on display at another vendor station.
For the hungry, soul food and seafood plates were available for purchase.
The word “sankofa” is from the Twi language spoken by the Akan tribe of Ghana. It means to “go back to the past and bring forward what is useful.”
The festival serves as a way for all people to learn of the West African culture.