GAFST 200: Africana Studies
September 26, 2011
The movie Sankofa takes place on the coast of Ghana. Mona travels back to the past to reclaim her identity. She becomes a house slave named Shola living on a plantation. She lives her life being raped and abused by her slave owner. Through this journey, Mona looks to find out who she really is through the people she meets, the African perception of identity, the meaning and connection to Sankofa, and what it suggests to Africans and non-Africans. In the beginning of the movie, this beautiful African- American woman Mona is modeling in the water with a stern seductive face. Wearing a blonde wig, a zebra print swim suite, and long fingernails, she roles around in the sand in all different poses for her white photographer. He instructs her to be sexy and flirty while he snaps photos of every move she makes. Mona is fulfilling the role of an ideal European model, and has lost her own self-identity in the process. The Eurocentric worldviews of what is accepted and what is pretty has led Mona to loose her own identity of who she really is and where she came from. Therefore, Mona’s curiosity leads her to a dramatic change in herself, and a whole new perspective. Certainly, every character Mona meets plays a crucial role in her transformation or new perspective on life. They all show her the importance of being a strong woman and teach her about her past. Nunu for example, knows many stories about their homeland of Africa and teaches it to the slaves on the planation who are willing to listen. She sees how Nunu’s own son Joe doesn’t love her, and Mona looks up to Nunu as her own mother. The sacrifices Nunu makes for Joe and the other slaves makes Mona want to be as fearless and brave as her. On the other hand, Mona encounters Joe, which is Nunu’s son. Nunu was raped by a white man and from this experience Joe came along. Joe is unsure of his own identity since he has a white father and black...
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