BlackFutures: A Sankofa Series

Reflecting on the History of Black Baton Rouge

Reimagining a City for All

Week 4 Events
  • 2.17 Baton Rouge's Black Activists Yesterday & Today

    w/ the NAACP Baton Rouge Branch 7pm via Facebook Live[WATCH]

  • 2.20 Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today Panel

    w/ the EBRP Library featuring Dr. Lori L. Martin and Christopher Tyson [WATCH]

  • 2.26 EBR Schools Virtual Black History Program

    w/ Humanities Amped [WATCH]


/SAHN-koh-fah/: from the Twi language of the Akan people of Ghana meaning go back and get it; widely interpreted as a call to use the knowledge of the past to make progress into the future

Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today

A Working History

Sankofa is an African word from the Akan tribe in Ghana. It is intended to convey the need to make “benevolent use of the past” in order to make progress into the future. The literal translation of the word and symbol is “it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.” At the heart of the concept is the importance of a careful investigation of the past in order to understand the present and gain knowledge needed for the future. This work is rooted in the spirit of Sankofa. It is also important to note that this is not a finished document. Our hope is that community members, history buffs, educational institutions, and other community-based organizations will take this document and add to it and share with others. Finally, and most importantly, this document is not put forth to be simply read. While we hope the reader will find the content engaging, our sincere desire is that this document will serve as a conversation starter. We hope families, neighborhoods, churches, schools, and other organizations will create real engagement with this writing and robust conversations about what it means to Baton Rouge’s future.


Black Residents in Baton Rouge
Based on 2020 US Census Updates


Percent of Baton Rouge population

Engagement Guides

Faith Communities Engagement Guide
Tips for churches who wish to engage their congregations around Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today
Engagement Guide
Tips for individuals who wish to engage family and friends using Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today
Community Organizations Engagement Guide
Tips for community based organizations on how to engage with Black Baton Rouge Yesterday and Today

Caregiver's Cues

Helpful topics to engage your young ones in conversations about Black History

In Case You Missed It

Black Futures Month Kick- Off

w/ Jason Roberts, Baton Rouge Black History Museum
Scotlandville Yesterday & Today

w/ NBRNow
South Baton Rouge Yesterday & Today

w/ the McKinley High School Alumni Association
Baton Rouge Black Activists Yesterday and Today

w/ NAACP Baton Rouge Branch
Baton Rouge Yesterday & Today: Looking Back to Effectively Move Forward

w/ Dr. Lori Martin and Chris Tyson; Facilitated by Raymond A. Jetson
Round Table Talk

w/Dawn Chanet Collins, Vice President of East Baton Rouge School Board
Virtual Black History Program

w/ Humanities Amped