Sankofa - Essay Example

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According to African history, slaves’ trade was carried out in this place that slaves were collected from different inland communities and shipped out to the new…
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Extract of sample "Sankofa"

Sankofa The play is set in the rich westerns African country, at the cape coast castle in Ghana formally called Goldcoast. According to African history, slaves’ trade was carried out in this place that slaves were collected from different inland communities and shipped out to the new world where they were made to work as slaves.
The story of Sankofa where the character of Mona is used to explain how the slave trade was carried out, according to Mona, people were captured from villages and taken to slavery. The most victims were the women children the handicapped or the community could sell the trouble makers like Shago. However, white man preferred the strong men who were able to work in the fields for long hours. After their capture they were tied together with chains to prevent them from escaping, those who tried to escape were either killed or whipped ruthlessly in front of others, this act helped to instill fear to others who had thought of either being resistant or either escaping.
Caravans which consisted of long distance traders and a white man riding on a horse travelled to the coast and the latter to where there were big holding places for the staves. These slaves stayed in this holding place and waited for a merchant who would select them for travel. Women were mainly house slaves while men were field slave. The character of Nunu who was an African native with freedom experience though later sold to slavery is used to represent a true African character. As depicted by the character of noble Ali, Africans themselves were against the slave trade and the ruthless treatment the white men who used on Africans. Additionally, Africans were used against each other, when Master Lafayette who is the plantation owner instructs Noble Ali to whip a fellow slave Ali defy on the claim that he cannot be able to handle whipping and counting at the same time.
The story in the film creates a huge reality of what happened during the Trans Saharan and Trans African slave trade. We are shown how Africans were subjected to untold mistreatment, when they were captured, dragged all the way to the coast tied with metallic chains. On arrival at the coast, they were placed in the dungeons tied up, upon arrival to the new world they were forced to leave their way of life and adapt the Christianity this created a religious conflict between the white man’s and the black man’s god. Women on the other hand, were mistreated through rape, which was done on public.
During Mona’s transition into shoal, she claims that she dint know what happened to her for her soul was taken over by the spirits, who undressed her leaving her totally naked. According to the story, Mona was running very fast to unknown direction the only thing she had in mind was that she wanted to get far from that place. She was taken to the priest who said a prayer and poured the said holy water to her later whipped the spirit within her by commanding it to leave her leaving her crying loudly. It is true that a spirit was in existence since under normal conditions Mona could not have stripped and run wildly to unknown direction.
The three classes of slave were the head slaves who were involved in mistreating their fellow Africans like the character of Musa and Noble Ali while the second class was the house slaves who worked within the white man’s house. In summary, the soul, the film shows clearly that the soul cannot be changed, but the fresh can be easily manipulated as depicted by the character of Mona (Shillington, pp32).
Work cited
Albert A. Boahen, Britain, the Sahara and the Western Sudan 1788–1861. 1998. Oxford x, Oxford. Print.
Shillington, Kevin. History of Africa, Second Edition. 1995, St. Martins Press, New York. Pg, 32. Print. Read More
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