From the start of the film, it is apparent that Mona struggles with her identity. It is presumed she has lost sight of her past experiences as she is capable of maintaining relationships with the whites. Her first vision is very significant. She begins to see slaves and as she is about to be whipped by the slave owners, Mona identifies herself as an American not an African-American. She has seemed to cut ties with her cultural aspects. She is a slave, named Shola, in a Lafayette plantation. Shola, among many others, was continuously taken advantage of within the labor aspect and was also raped by her owners. As a slave, Shola did not understand the reason behind her people running away towards the hills. A prime example was shown through the character of Kuta as she is whipped to death after attempting to run away to give birth in a free land. This bewilderment is also seen through Sh...
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...le and fight back against the harsh conditions. In Joe’s case, the normal African perception of identity is lost as he must conform to the societal norms of the whites. He must let go of his ties and perceive African’s as essentially, a different category. They are a minority who should be treated as less in the whitemen’s eyes. With the visions Mona is able to obtain, she recollects these stories and finally begins to understand what the black man at the beginning of the film meant. She cannot easily conform to the present day forms, accepting everyone, when so much pain and blood has been shown. She must show respect for her country and keep in mind what the whites have done. Sankofa does a spectacular job at showing not only the transformations purposely altered to maintain African identity, but also how history plays a role in staying true to your ethical roots.
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