Vanessa Page Wright
While in school, she directed a documentary thesis project, BIG TEN ATHLETES featuring top athletes from The Ohio State University. All of which are now former NFL and NBA players and reporters like Eddie George, Robert Smith, and Jimmy Jackson. It aired on an ABC affiliate station in Ohio and immediately received multiple awards.
Her recent documentary, SANKOFA CHICAGO (sponsored by the Illinois Arts Council), has been selected in many film festivals and has won Best Educational Film in June 2021 by Cannes World Film Festival. She is also the creator and director of a kid's web series, YOUR KID PROFESSORS. These two video projects are under the umbrella of her media platform, TELLERS UNTOLD.
She has many years of experience as a licensed talent agent and currently teaches at Columbia College Chicago.
While raising two black boys in Chicago, I saw the need to educate them and others about the importance of knowing their history to understand the present. Is there hope of a safe future for black people in Chicago? As an educator, documentary filmmaking is my chosen form of self-expression because it allows me to teach creatively, and a multi-cultural cast was essential.
With SANKOFA CHICAGO, I explore issues in the Black community by providing a platform recognizing fragments of our past. Sankofa is a word in the Twi language of Ghana, means, “Go back and fetch it.” It is the practice of going into the past to learn from it and reclaim one’s essence. SANKOFA CHICAGO explores and reflects on the importance of black history and the present-day black community to inspire and guide the next generation of black people living in the city.
My goal is to start a dialogue about the future of the black community, starting here in Chicago.
Black history is important for all young people to learn beyond just one month of the year. Sankofa Chicago is a documentary on a mission to raise awareness of Black luminaries, past and present, who have connections to our city. Through interviews with everyday Black Chicagoans reflecting on their history in the city to kid-friendly introductions of notable Black visionaries and barrier-breakers like Ida B. Wells, Bessie Coleman, Barack Obama and more, this documentary presents the basics and lays a foundation for further exploration and learning for anyone wanting to know more about Black history.
The film is focused on Chicago and shaping the future of our Black community here.
Black history is American history and it is much more vibrant, multi-faceted, rich and joyous than any one film (or one month of the year) could possibly contain. To continue your education journey, you can learn more about African American History in this country, and in our city, by visiting the DuSable Museum of African American History or the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
To learn more about SANKOFA CHICAGO, and the filmmakers behind the film, visit sankofachicago.com