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  • Writer's pictureAya

Akoma...the "heart"

Updated: Jun 7, 2020

Akoma comes from the Asante of present-day Ghana, and it symbolizes endurance and understanding. It can be recognized as the modern-day heart symbol. It literally means “the heart” and represents love, unity, endurance, patience, tolerance, goodwill, and faithfulness. It also symbolizes tolerance in the face of frustration and stresses the need for patience. According to the Agbo people, a person who is very tolerant is one who is said to “have a heart in his stomach”. The heart serves as a part of all of us that elicits emotions making us more human and more connected.

After studying the adinkra symbols, Akoma stuck with me. I mean besides being excited that I found these symbols, I was more ecstatic that we had our own. We as in black people. I mean growing up I often seen people in the black community using Chinese symbols for tattoos, art and home décor. I mean I did too at one point. Art is art, and technically our history is in their culture too, but that’s for a whole ‘nother discussion! But anywho, back to Akoma. It’s a strong name and it resonated with me because I’ve been a tolerant person most of my life, and not always in a good way. But at the time, with me learning more about OurStory (African history and culture), I could relate in a different way. To me, black people in America have been very tolerant, too tolerant, of the treatment and conditions that are a direct result from white supremacy.Tolerant; I resonated with the patience part because I’m a patient person, and we have been patient enough waiting on someone else to come and save us, when we have to save ourselves; Goodwill; I don’t mind giving to those in need whether physical or just giving kind words, advice, or lending an ear. I wanted to create a business or service to help elevate my people; Unity. I want to see our people unite. That is the only way we are going to get ahead. There’s strength in numbers. Knowing ourselves, our true selves, and loving our true selves; Being patient with our brothers and sisters, and uniting to create a better society for ourselves holistically. That is what I want to see happen, and that is why Akoma was born, to aid in that liberation, elevation, growth, and love for my people.

There are many other adinkra symbols, all with their own meanings and symbols. You can learn more about them by clicking on the links below.

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