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Dozens attend 18th annual Sankofa Festival

A celebration of African and African American culture, the 18th annual Sankofa Festival was held in Timrod Park Saturday.

A celebration of African and African American culture, the 18th annual Sankofa Festival was held in Timrod Park Saturday.

"To let folks know that Africa has so much to offer," Faida Mfomboutmoun, a participant in the festival, said.

There was music and lots of dancing to offer the Pee Dee community an entertaining and educational event.

"We got to get up and do the African dance, which was the funnest thing to do," Mary Williams, who attended the festival for the first time, said.

Williams brought her two grandchildren to let them also experience the culture.

"I want my grandchildren to learn their heritage, their backgrounds of their ancestors," Williams said.

Organizers said the festival has grown every year.

"What Africa is about, to the truth and he beauty of the continent and the culture. So that’s usually expressed through dance through food through music," Mfomboutmoun said.

The cultural celebration aims to teach children about where they came from.

"We want to encourage the youth and the next generation to get them interested in this beautiful place...what’s expected in most African cultures in terms of youth and elder relationship," Mfomboutmoun said.

People gathered together in the park with their lawn chairs and coolers to appreciate and enjoy friends who became like family.

"I hope that they’ve learned something they felt a connection they felt a little bit of Africa," Mfomboutmoun said.

The festival was founded on the West African symbol of the Sankofa Bird. The bird flies forward while looking backwards over its shoulders. The West African Sankofa Bird proverb says, "As you move forward you cannot forget your past."

The event happens every Fourth of July weekend and organizers said if you missed it this year they’ll be back in 2019.

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