The Historians Initiative

Story by Brandon Chung and Daniella Montezuma-Bacigalupo

Sheridan Alumni Akil McKenzie recently began a movement titled “The Historians Initiative”.

This movement aims to provide a strong message during Black History Month and to act as solace for those struggling in their day to day struggles.

Tied to the initiative is the “Historians” video, produced by Falling Motion. This video is a spoken word poem written by Akil McKenzie, aimed towards the Black community and the BLM movement. 

The original vision of “Historians” was that of pure emotion. When asked why he wrote the piece, he had this to say…

“When the riots had begun after the George Floyd case, I had this feeling of the tired inside, because I feel like it goes through cycles, and I didn’t exactly know what to do with that emotion… So I wrote.”

Eventually after writing “Historians”, Akil released a short Instagram live video where he recited the poem in his car. He did this as a way to keep the feeling of his written word raw and emotional, without capitalizing on the situations that had occurred. 

Following this, Akil was contacted by the owner of the production company “Hallowed Grounds” to produce a video that would not only keep the integrity of Akil’s original vision but also spread the message in a way that he wanted to.

By using this movement as a catalyst, Akil hopes to use “Historians” as a way to inspire people to create their own messages and to provide hope to those who need them.  

“I would want this to do two things. Reach the people who are immediately affected in terms of police brutality, or they are sitting in their neighborhood and they see there isn’t a lot of opportunity for themselves. I would hope this is seen by that demographic of people so that it can push them for one day. In general, I hope it continues that unified movement and be a bridge from our movement into the next.”

Akil McKenzie, Sheridan Alumni/Owner of Falling Motion