The Adinkra symbol for Kwatakye Atiko means “Hairstyle of an Asante Warrior.” This symbol was shaved on the back of the chief’s head to signify valor.
“This ancient symbol has four bars – perhaps symbolizing arms and legs – pointing out in opposite directions and two spirals curling in towards the center. The bars remind us to reach out and grasp what can help us or protect ourselves by warding off what cannot. The spirals encourage us to look within ourselves – mind and spirit – for the strength to endure, the wisdom to make the right choices and the patience to await things all in their proper time.”(Bravery-African, www.thehopetree.com).
Everyone benefits from leading their life with bravery and valor. This doesn’t mean that you fear nothing. It simply means that you don’t let fear stop you from your full potential. Remember to be brave when you face struggles and complications throughout life. Those very struggles are what help us grow to become better versions of ourselves when we face them.
The history of people of color in America shows that we are people of bravery, fearlessness and valor. From cultural genocide and slavery to the problems of the 21st century for black people in particular, we have thrived. In order to continue to in the upward direction we need more warriors. We need more people, especially men, to bring forth intellectual bravery to lead us in the right direction.
November has been designated “No-Shave November” to give awareness and support to fighting cancer. Cancer is one of the scariest illnesses in the world, and rightly so. As of 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has named it as the second leading cause of death in the United States at 595,930 lives. Regardless of the type of cancer that a person develops, the diagnosis is terrifying and life changing. Even though there is a high death rate, you can survive cancer. There are many warriors who have dealt with this opponent head on and have come out victorious. No-Shave November was made by no-shave.org.
Cancer is one of many adversaries in the world where bravery and valor is needed. Whether it’s fighting injustices in the world, being diagnosed with any disease, or simply living life we have to dig into our “Kwatakye Atiko.”
Agbo, A. 2015. Values of Adinkra Symbols. Ebony Designs.
Health, United States, 2016. US Department of Health and Human Services. cdc.gov. May, 2017.