Sankofa Essay

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March 10, 2011 Sankofa Response The climax of the movie Sankofa occurs during the scene in which Shola receives the Sankofa bird from Shango. Shola had just tried to escape from the plantation. Consequently, when she is captured, she is whipped. Father Rafael, Master James, and head slave Joe all participate in this punishment, which is supposed to rid her of her heathen ways. According to them, it is the influence of the devil that causes Shola to try to escape. In fact Shola is forced to repent and told the whipping will not end until she has renounced these heathen ways and promised to follow a more Christian life. After her repentance, Shola lays weeping on her bed, Shango appears and tells her to continue running and be strong. He gives her a Sankofa bird, which she claims gave her this new rebellious attitude. Up to this point in the story, Shola has had a timid, non- rebellious personality. At the beginning of the story, this is established when she tells Shango not to cause such trouble that would have him whipped. Even when she is raped several times by one of the masters, she remains confused yet non-defiant. She tells of meetings in which fellow slaves are involved, but does not join them. She sometimes expresses a desire to have power over her oppressors, for instance she wishes she could kill an overseer with her eyes as we are told Nunu has done. However, Shola never makes any attempts to gain such powers, she merely wishes for them. She seems almost content in her role as a slave, and Shango is her only link to the realization of the evils of slavery. However, after Shango gives her the Sankofa bird, she retains this new defiance and even starts attending rebellion meetings. Sankofa is the symbol of looking towards the past before considering the future. It becomes Shola's new reason to not dwell on the past but rather use it as
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