Friday, September 11, 2020

Podcast #1: Bioneers: From Slavery to Stardust: What Would Healing Look Like?

Sankofa Bird

I’ve always had enough time; it was just filled with too many distractions. COVID took away some of those distractions and a life change put me in the car for longer periods, so I started listening to podcasts and discovered a world of inspiration and wisdom. 

Bioneers: Revolution from the Heart of Nature quickly became one of my favorite sources.

This is the first in a series of podcasts that will be featured here, this one chosen because of a bird featured at the beginning of the podcast. The sankofa bird is a metaphorical symbol used by the Akan people of Ghana, generally depicted as a bird with its head turned backward taking an egg from its back. It expresses the importance of reaching back to knowledge gained in the past and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress. (

Learning from where we’ve been seems to be a particularly timely metaphor and this is a powerful podcast about one of the darkest places in our history: the slave trade that built wealth for some while destroying the lives of others. 
Belvie Rooks, one of the speakers on this podcast, states, “The sankofa bird symbolizes the courage to look back into the past while boldly moving forward and taking that knowledge and transforming it into the wisdom needed to guide the present into a benevolent future for the entire community."

This particular story begins in the North, where a sailor who came to Rhode Island in 1744 built a great wealth in the slave trade. Two honeymooners happened on a book about the family’s history and it changed their lives and brought them together with the author.

This one is a great example of how podcasts can inform, inspire, and make your heart hurt for all the unhealed places. Racism wounds our community and maybe if we could have the courage of the sankofa bird, we might create a benevolent future for all of us.  Listen here.

Intro: What’s it like to be in someone else’s skin? What if the color of the skin is different – say, black and white? What might happen when the descendants of a white slave trader and of black people who were enslaved meet? That is the brave and wrenching journey embraced by Thomas DeWolf, whose white ancestors were once the nation’s biggest slave traders, and Belvie Rooks and Dedan Gills, descendants of African people who were enslaved. Together they depict their remarkable journey to discover what healing looks like.

Movie: Traces of the Trade: A story of the deep north

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