Adoption of the Adinkra Symbol

The Akan (Ghana) Adinkra Symbol affixed to the Center of Africana Studies and Culture’s logo is the Ananse Ntontan. For the center, the reasons for our connection to the symbol are multifold. The Ananse represents is associated with a Spider’s Web and represents wisdom and creativity. The center identifies with this symbolism and marking because of its intention to embody both a scholarly profile and the creativity one finds within aspects of culture. Moreover, the multiple initiatives of the center can be seen as somewhat of a web that, like a spider’s web, is intricate, multifaceted, beautiful, and complex. Another connection can be found in the center’s focus on the African Diaspora, where Ananse (or Anansi) folktales derived from the Akan people of West Africa were transported through the transatlantic slave trade to the Caribbean and U.S. South. Ananse is a wise and cunning figure who is often identified as a symbol of Black resistance to enslavement through its ability to outsmart the plantation structure or individuals who would do harm. We recognize and affirm the center’s work as part of the protracted struggle for freedom and as living within a historical continuum of emancipatory praxis.

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