Sankofa Essay - Lindsey Duff BWS 151 Section B Professor...

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Lindsey Duff BWS 151 Section B Professor Adrian Gaskins Resistance to The Injustice of Rights How is slavery defined? Is it the labor and hard work that Africans and Europeans were subject to here in America? Is it the harsh brutal living conditions these people were forced to live under while working on plantations? While slavery often encompassed these environments, it was much more than just the way the enslaved peoples lived their every day lives. It was an injustice of rights, of freedom, of power. Although those taken into the institution of slavery were outweighed in arms and weapons, slaves had ways of resisting this new way of life in methods slave-owners knew not. Resistance came in many forms. Of course there was the physical struggle, but the refusal to accept this categorization of slavery was apparent in indirect aspects as well. Slaves organized and practiced forms of resistance that was not directly in the face of their master. Practices such as these included praying for freedom, learning to read and write, and communicating in code and song. Numerous documentaries and passages have been developed to portray these patterns of resistance. No matter the form of resistance, these enslaved people worked to maintain their inner strength as humans, not property. Sankofa , the 1993 film by Haile Gerima, depicts slaves resistance in various methods. The film opens with shifting scenes of a drummer in white ceremonial ash or clay, a black female model named Mona working a photo shoot on the beach, and ends with a statue of a bronze bird looking backwards behind itself. Shortly after the opening scene, when Mona stands on the castle grounds with the white American male photographer, Sankofa antagonizes her for not being aware of the grounds she walks on. Here, Gerima indirectly shows the audience a modern form of resistance to the institution
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2 of slavery. Although Mona is a black woman, she declares herself as “not African,” when the scene switches to her being captured and branded by the slave-masters. During this scene, the audience sees that even today, there are both blacks and white that, in a sense,
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2011 for the course BWS 151 taught by Professor Hunt during the Spring '08 term at Miami University.

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Sankofa Essay - Lindsey Duff BWS 151 Section B Professor...

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