Sankofa; Slave Rebellion

Topics: Slavery, Haiti, Black people Pages: 3 (978 words) Published: October 3, 2005
Sankofa: Slave Rebellion
Caribbean Politics

Sankofa is an Akan word that means "Go back to your past, to move on to the future." Literally translated it means "it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot". This movie was written, produced and directed by Haille Gerima, a black professor at Howard University. The movie portrays a black model that goes to modern-day Africa to do a movie shoot with her photographer. While she is there, she encounters a Black African who tells her to return to her past. This man is Sankofa, a self appointed guardian of what used to be the Lafayette plantation. Sankofa is soon escorted off of the grounds by the employed guards. During the course of her trip, she follows a group of tourists into one of the chambers where slaves who had been stolen from their native lands used to be held. Mysteriously, the model is transported back into slavery times, and she finds herself chained by the wrists and ankles in a crowded room with other slaves and a group off white men restraining her as she declares "I'm not an African, I am an American". Once Mona is placed on the plantation she begins to live the life as one of her ancestors named Shola. Shola is a house slave that was born into slavery and believed that she was supposed to live her life as a slave and "do right" by her white master. Shola was in love with a field slave named Shongo and found strength in him and other fields slaves like Nunu. Nunu is a slave that was brought from her homeland unlike Shola who was born into slavery. On Nunu's way over to the West Indies, she was raped on the ship by a white man. From this experience Joe was born. Joe represents the classic conflict of a person who is trying to escape his past and his identity. He rejects all associations with being Black, or with his African past. He has become the headman on the plantation and is ashamed of traditional African spirituality or culture. He even tries to deny his own mother. Throughout...

References: Sankofa (the movie); Haile Gerima
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