Seminole State Speaker Series and Zora Festival present Dr. Chesya Burke

Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Written by: Seminole State Staff

In partnership with the Annual Zora Neale Hurston™ Festival of the Arts and Humanities (ZORA!® Festival), the Seminole State Speaker Series will host its third

Zora Festival

event of the 2022-23 academic year on Wednesday, Jan. 25, with a presentation with Dr. Chesya Burke, assistant professor of English and U.S. literatures at Stetson University.

Dr. Chesya Burke
Dr. Chesya Burke

Dr. Burke will discuss Afrofuturism as Embodiment of Sankofa.

 As Burke states: “The Ghanaian word's literal translation  means that ‘it is not taboo to fetch what is at risk of being left behind.’ Afrofuturism quite literally is the act of acknowledging the practice of Sankofa (“reaching back”) to the ancestors, while calling on histories, spirituality, and lived experiences to imagine new futures for Black people, despite the lack of representation in mainstream society. When looking at a literal act of Sankofa within Black American literary tradition, one needs only to look at Alice Walker’s act of “finding” and “bringing back” Zora Neale Hurston into modern Black consciousness. The dynamic woman known as much for her off-page antics as her on-page talent, Zora Neale Hurston is considered an important writer of her time, skilled in Southern interpretation of dialect and culture. A complicated figure, Hurston’s contribution to Afrofuturism cannot be dismissed. But as Afrofuturists, who center Black voices and lived experiences, how do we reconcile Hurston, who claimed that “slavery is the price she paid for civilization.” In this presentation, I will discuss the tenets of Afrofuturism, Sankofa and the importance of reaching back to never forget Black complex voices of the past.”

The presentation will include a Q&A session.

Seminole State’s Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Addition Financial. All Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. The views expressed by speakers are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Seminole State College of Florida, its Board of Trustees, employees, students, alumni or partners.

For more information, please visit

About Addition Financial

Founded in 1937 by 23 educators, Addition Financial serves more than 150,000 members. With more than $1.74 billion in total assets, Addition Financial offers its members an array of financial products and services at 22 full-service branches, nine high school branches, and more than 40 ATMs. Anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake Counties may become a member. Qualified businesses and other entities may join as well. Addition Financial is the Official Financial Institution of the UCF Knights and owns the naming rights to the Addition Financial Arena on the University of Central Florida campus. Addition Financial is also the Preferred Credit Union for Seminole State College.

About the Speaker Series

Each year, the Seminole State Speaker Series welcomes speakers representing diverse views and interests. The Speaker Series is co-sponsored by Addition Financial. For more information and view a list of previous speakers at Seminole State, visit