Ideas and Issues - what creates a sense of belonging?

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The song 'Took the Children Away' by Archie Roach conveys the thoughts and feelings of many Aboriginal children that were taken and became the Stolen Generation. Throughout the song Roach talks repeatedly about the sense of loss and trauma suffered through the immense hardships of being taken from familiar surroundings and placed into a foreign setting. Although the song does not provide grim details of the incredible embarrassment of slave labour, Roach strongly focuses on the heartless taking of the children into a surrounding, where they could not ask themselves the basic belonging questions such as, who am I?, What am I worth? And what is my purpose? According to this song the Stolen Generation were left to ponder their identity especially with the words, "As we grew up we felt alone cause we were acting white yet feeling black". I feel Roach particularly wanted us to feel sympathy for the Stolen Generation in this song because he focuses on himself as well as the Stolen Generation, making the song become personal as he details his own pain. Also, during the second verse Roach sings "You took the children away, the children away breaking their mother hearts". This emphasizes that not only children were affected, but families and especially mothers too. For me this conveys his message of the inhumane treatment of the Stolen Generation even more powerful, because he doesn't focus on one particular group of the Stolen Generation, but on all aspects of the family and how it is affected. "The children came back, back to their mother, back to their father...back to their people." The song 'Took the Children Away' is a powerful song, because it gives an accurate as well as a personal view to the listener, about the hardships and the sense of alienation felt by the Stolen Generation as they could not belong to any race, aboriginal or European.

The play, "Stolen" by Jane Harrison, also focuses on the trauma and psychological abuse suffered by the Stolen Generation.

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