Celebrating 60


The UCLA African Studies Center is partnering with the Fowler Museum to celebrate African freedom and unity, 57 years since the founding of the African Union, and over 60 years since the founding of our very own Center. 

Africa Day celebrations are happening across Los Angeles, and UCLA will kick off the city-wide festivities at the Fowler Museum on Saturday May 16, 2020, with delicious refreshments, live music and dance performances, a fashion show, and arts and crafts in the Children’s Village. 

Admission is free and all are welcome and encouraged to attend--we look forward to seeing you, your family, and your friends! 


Check back here for 2020 program details and schedule. 


Planning to attend? Please RSVP HERE to help us plan a wonderful program for you! 


What is Africa Day?

The vision for Africa Day--a day to celebrate African freedom and unity--was born in 1958.  At the time, only eight African countries were independent of colonial rule. A mere five years later, on May 25, 1963, the Organization of African Unity (later renamed the African Union and more commonly known as the AU) was formed with over 32 independent African countries in attendance. Today, Africa Day is celebrated internationally every 25th of May, with communities worldwide honoring African independence and celebrating the dynamic and diverse countries of the continent. Learn more HERE.


#ASC | 60 | SANKOFA 

2019 heralds the 60th year of the UCLA African Studies Center being one of the leading institutions in the world for the study of Africa. We move forward rooted in all that we have learned from our engagement with our Los Angeles community and from our partners in Africa and all over the world. Together, we have created a foundation and platform for the continuance of Africa-centered scholarship, activism, and art. We want to thank our community, our family, for supporting us throughout the past six decades.

We look back over the years inspired by what we have learned. We root our 60th year in the Ghanian concept of Sankofa. The word Sankofa is from the Asante Twi language of the Akan people of Western Africa. The word itself means, “to return and get it” (san – “to return”; ko – “to go”; fa – “to fetch, to seek and take”). The Sankofa symbol is associated with the proverb, “Se wo were fi na wosankofa a yenkyi,” which translates to “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” The most prominent of the Asante Adinkra symbols for the concept of Sankofa “depicts a mythical bird flying forward with its head turned backward. The egg in its mouth represents the ‘gems’ or knowledge of the past upon which wisdom is based; it also signifies the generation to come that would benefit from that wisdom.” We honor the wisdom of the Akan people and regard this symbol as a reflection of our quest for wisdom, acquired by reflecting on these past 60 years, in order to help build a stronger future.

Find out more about the meaning of Sankofa.






Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2019