In this new era, we are now able to discover our past. Through DNA testing, one can trace their blood line and learn about their roots.
A tree without its roots is dead.
Grey’s Anatomy, Isaiah Washington, did just this. One might imagine that for an individual so accomplished such as Washington (actor, human rights activist, Winner of NAACP Image Award and Screen Actors Guild winning American actor), would be looking forward to his future. Instead, he was looking for his past (Sankofar). Through DNA testing, Washington was traced to the Mende people currently living in Sierra Leone. This discovery was just the beginning of a new journey for Isaiah. After visiting Sierra Leone and educating himself on his people, Isaiah was inspired.
As humans, many of us have the natural instinct to take care of our family. Well, it must have been Isaiah’s instinct that sparked the need to help and give back to his people. After building a relation with the Mende people, Isaiah Washington was inducted as Chief Gondobay Manga in May 2006. He went on to establish The Gondobay Manga Foundation to address the needs of the Mende people. Through these good deeds, Isaiah was honored as the first person to be granted Citizenship of Sierra Leone in 2008. They say what goes around, comes around and Isaiah is a true example of this.
This is such an opportunity for African Americans to reach far back into their past if they choose. This can be the bridge we’ve been looking for to connect the new world to the old one.