Sankofa Statue honoring Dr. Patricia Nunn to be unveiled on June 19
June 14, 2023
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.