“Going to the past, remembering it, and with it, turning to the future.” ~ Clarke Fountain. This quote summarizes and defines the title and character of the movie, Sankofa. This film is a story centering on an eye-opening experience for an African-American woman’s bitter hardships and realities of her peoples’ collective past. Although the main and most recognizable theme of Sankofa focuses on the significance of going back to the past in order to comprehend the present, there are several themes that one can grasp from this concept, quote, and viewing of this selection. Other than the obvious, themes that can be taken from this movie in comparison to people today and exemplify the point of going to the past and turning to your future is to realize racism still exists today, change and prioritize morals and values as an African-American, and understand to achieve having freedom to be who and what one chooses as an individual one must obtain individuality.
Racism, although very noticeable and visible in the film, is often overlooked and not as in the forefront in today’s society to the point that one could say some people today fail to realize it still exists. Sankofa displays racism towards Blacks from Whites as well as fellow African-Americans. Blacks disowning their own because of what whites and slave-owners have influenced them to believe, like it is the wrong race to want to be or be apart of. These whites had instilled in them that blacks were meant to work for whites and that to be powerful or worth anything you must behave, be around, and believe as they did. Racism is so powerful a movement and action that it has been able to uphold over time and hundreds of years to still be in existence in today’s society. Some whites and blacks today still believe that success isn’t reached unless you are working and living around wealthy whites, as well as them believing to speak proper is to communicate like “whites”. Today there are lighter complexioned blacks that dislike darker toned blacks and believe they are better people than them as well. So, as you can see though time has changed not much has changed in the aspect or racism and the affects it has had and still have on society.
Racism Past and Present Lots of people think racism was a thing of the past and that it no longer existed. But that is far from true. Racism was a problem in the past but is still is today. Everyone needs to realize it is there and try to stop it. In the past there was a lot of racism. It all started with slavery around 1750 (Klas h 1). White people would sail to Africa on cargo ships. They would ...
Even though racism hasn’t had drastic change overtime, one thing that has taken a turn is the morals and values possessed by African-Americans as a people. In the movie Sankofa it was clear of the values and morals of blacks during that time and what mattered most to them. Then African-Americans valued family, religion, and spirituality unlike blacks today. In the film it is displayed that family comes first and nothing should separate or divide family. They also were very spiritual and believed there was a higher power that controlled and determined everything. They stood firmly and proudly for what they believed in no matter anyone else’s beliefs and sayings. But throughout time changing the morals and values of African-Americans changed as well. In society today blacks have seem to let priorities get out of order which has caused a change of view in the values once possessed by their people in the past. Overtime Blacks have come to value money and material things over family. Also, they have seemed to replace the thought of living a life led by God or a higher being with celebrities or negative influences. With that being said, it’s obvious and most likely that African-American ancestors and a lot of blacks today would like to see today’s society prioritize their lives, morals, and values in a positive way and relatively to those in the Sankofa film.
The Black Vote: African Americans as an Interest Group The African-American community is comprised of 34 million people, and makes up approximately 12. 8 percent of the American population (Barker, Jones, Tate 1999: 3). As such, it is the largest minority group in the United States. Yet, politically, the black community has never been able to sufficiently capitalize on that status in order to ...
However, for one to understand having freedom to be whom and what one desires it would be best to first get their morals and values in order. Though the African-Americans in Sankofa were slaves they were still freer than blacks in today’s society due to the fact they had individuality and knew their identity as a person. Blacks in this film knew what they wanted, what they believed in, and what their ultimate goal was, as well as had their morals and values prioritized. So, although they were slaves and confined physically, mentally they were free and knew who they were. In today’s day and age it is the complete opposite of those lives portrayed in the film. Today African-Americans are free physically, but mentally confined and slaves to whites still in addition to music, television, computers, and peers. It seems as if today it isn’t realized or that it’s taken for granted that there are more opportunities than there were during the times of Sankofa and that blacks can have, become, and do anything they desire with the correct morals, values, and train of thought. But until one finds themselves and distinguish their individuality they will never fully understand or possess their freedom in every aspect of the word and the sense.
In conclusion, one of, if not the most significant theme one could have taken from Sankofa is that for one to fully understand and appreciate their present they must go back to their past. So, with that being said for African-Americans to grasp their present they must understand their past and where they came from, realize racism still exists today, prioritize and change their morals and values, and distinguish their individuality to achieve full freedom mentally and physically.
“Going to the past, remembering it, and with it, turning to the future.” ~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide