Sankofa Statue honoring Dr. Patricia Nunn to be unveiled on June 19

Press release from Alachua County

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. – On Juneteenth (June 19, 2023) at 10 a.m., the County will honor the life and legacy of the late Dr. Patricia Hilliard-Nunn by unveiling the Sankofa Statue. Included in the installation is information on Dr. Hilliard-Nunn. The event will occur at the West Lawn of the County Administration Building (12 SE 1st Street, Gainesville).

Speakers at the event include Dr. Kenneth Nunn; Alachua County Commission Chair Anna Prizzia; Alachua County Commissioner Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, IV; Alachua County Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson; Nii Sowa La; D. Ayoka Sowa La; Vivian Filer; Nkwanda Jah; James Essegbey; David Ruiz; and George Gadson.

Dr. Hilliard-Nunn (1963-2020) was a teacher, scholar, artist, and community activist who taught African and African American history at the University of Florida and lectured at many venues throughout Alachua County. She studied Media and Culture, Audience Analysis, Enslaved Africans in Alachua County, and African American History in Alachua County. Her creative practices included Media Production and West African Dance & Mixed Media Art. Before teaching African American Studies, she taught Black Women and Film at the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research at the University of Florida. In her lectures, she often emphasized the importance of “Sankofa.”

The Sankofa bird is a symbol of wisdom from the Akan people of West Africa. While holding an egg in its mouth, its backward-looking pose signifies the importance of learning from the past to shape the future. It teaches us to honor our roots, embrace our history, and carry forward our ancestors’ valuable lessons and experiences.

View the Documentary “In the Shadow of Plantations” written and hosted by Dr. Nunn and produced by Alachua County.

  • Ok, she sounds like a very educated lady. Her profession and creative practices are highlighted.

    How did the author of this article miss sharing her accomplishments which led to her being honored?

    Perhaps I missed them?

  • Old Joe is long gone from the Courthouse, banished to an outlying cemetery and displayed backwards. In that location will be a statue to a teacher and activist, fine, but I wonder what people will think of the African bird statue. History being rewritten all over the place. Just because you tear it down, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. War between the States was here, Florida 3rd to succeed, yet, can barely find anywhere in the state that it did happen. Flocks of foreign birds won’t change it, but it will keep many from knowing that it was here. We should learn from it.

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