Examples Of Trauma In The Movie Sankofa

1989 Words8 Pages
To begin, throughout slavery slaves were forced to endure tremendous amounts of psychological/emotional trauma. Psychological/emotional trauma can be defined as the heavy amounts of stress that the slaves were forced to experience due to the harsh reality of the slave lifestyle. The psychological/emotional trauma caused slaves to negatively change their perspective on life and their overall way of thinking. This is illustrated in the film Sankofa, when the film excellently portrays the differences between the two save classes: field slaves and house slaves. In the movie Sankofa the field slaves have a strong dislike for the house slaves, because the house slaves received many luxuries that the field slaves didn’t. These luxuries included having…show more content…
Slave owners dehumanized slaves in several ways. For example, Masters would cut slaves hair, severely beat slaves, and give them new names to replace their African names; in efforts to cleanse the slaves of their African roots and their Masters did these things to constantly remind the slaves that they are not people but, property and that they have no control of their lives. Another example of dehumanization is the slave owners/masters not teaching or wanting the slaves to read. In the book When I was a slave: Memoirs from the slave narrative collection, Boston Blackwell emphasizes the lack of education of the average poor slave, and why the typical master would never want a slave to learn how to read and be educated. Blackwell states: “Us poor niggers never allowed to learn anything. All the readin’ they ever hear was when they was carried through the big Bible. The massa say that keep the slaves in the places” (Yetman, 2002 p.16). The desire of the whites to keep slaves uneducated is a form of dehumanization, because whites did not consider slaves as people and they did not consider them as civilized members of their society; therefore, they did not see the purpose of educating slaves. Also, if the slaves became educated the whites feared that they would be better equipped to resist slavery. Overall, the dehumanization of a slave is an example of psychological/emotional trauma because when whites…show more content…
Miscegenation is “the act of race-mixing”. In the film “Sankofa”, Joe a head slave or slave driver was a mulatto; meaning he was a product of miscegenation; due to the fact that his mother Nunu was raped by a white man on a slave ship when she was only 14 years old. However, Joe is unaware that his mother was raped instead he believes that Nunu chose to sleep with a white man. Thus, Joe resents his mother for sleeping with a white man because now he will always have to live with the constant confliction that comes with being a product of miscegenation. Throughout the movie Joe is conflicted about which side he belongs to or who he own his loyalties to. For example, whites gave him the position of a head slave/slave driver which is the biggest position that any slave can have. Also, Joe’s preacher is a man of non-African descent whom he looks to for constant spiritual guidance. Therefore, Joe wants to remain in the good graces of the whites. However, by only aligning himself with the whites he loses the respect of his black peers, but despite this Joe has a strong desire to only be viewed as a white man. However, on the other hand Joe wants to express his loyalties to his mother Nunu and his on and off again lover Lucy, but if he does this than he will be looked down upon by the whites due to his high position of a slave driver. For example, when his mom Nunu is

More about Examples Of Trauma In The Movie Sankofa

Open Document