Tuesday, 21 July 2015
SLAVERY FILMS: AN AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
Those who know me know I love history. Especially in movie form. I love to learn about the human story, where we were and where we are now.
So this last couple of days I came across this series that was released called Book of Negroes.
The title was quite interesting so, I decided to check it out. It brought to mind a lot of slave based movies and series I’ve watched in the past.
I have watched many and no the lesson I learnt had nothing to do with race but more to do with how we treat each other as humans.
First of all as an African, colonialism is more real to me than slavery, considering that our country did not suffer as much as our West African counterparts. I believe very few slaves came from East Africa, well at least that’s what we were told in school.
Anyway back to my view.
So as I was saying colonialism is more real to me anyways, even though my dad is the one who went through that time period, you can tell there is just a very different way people who went through oppression view the world.
I do like my dad’s perspective; I guess I borrowed a leaf from him on how I see it all. Forgiveness is a huge step to moving forward. No forgiveness = no progress
I do recommend that people watch these, you learn a lot.
So let me startBOOK OF NEGROES
It’s about I Aminata Diallo a young girl captured from her home land in Africa and becomes a slave in America.
What I liked about this movie is that it showed a cycle of being captured to freedom to resettlement in Africa. This was the first I had seen on slave movies/series where they showed some aspect of trying to resettle slaves back to Africa. It opened my mind a lot to thinking about what life must have been like for someone who was stolen and then returned home. I thought a lot about my West African brothers and sisters in places like Liberia and what it must have been like to figure out ones identity again.
Also liked the highlighting of those who opposed slavery and how they tried to ban it as a form of trade. It’s always important to highlight all history not just some of it. The truth is it shows that the few people who go against the grain and do the right thing in the end make a large impact and change the world.
Aminata never gave up on the fact that one day she would return home. Even though life beat her down a lot, she fought through and was a blessing to those around her. And her gift of helping women brought her great favor and pushed her ahead.
Truth be told, I only watched this movie two days ago. It’s one of those movies that came to the cinema and went before I got a chance to watch it.
I personally wish there was a part 2 so I could see what happened to the slaves after winning their case.
I learnt that there are people who like things as they are and will manipulate situations so things remain as they are for their benefit. But I also learnt that there are those who will fight until they see change happen and justice prevails.
Roger Sherman Baldwin
Cinque the slave learnt to trust the system and lead his fellow slaves even though he felt un worthy and the odds were against him.
The system may look unfair, but sometimes it works
This isn’t the typical slave movie. The truth is I watched it because it’s a Quentin Tarantino movie and he has a reputation of being very graphic. And he did not disappoint.
It wasn’t the easiest movie to watch because of its graphic nature but I did learn a lot.
I saw yet another side of slavery. The other movies usually show more about those who worked in the plantations, this movie showed slaves used for sport. This was probably the most horrific part for me, slaves beating each other to death. I don’t even think I can watch the movie again because of it. It was refreshing to also see a slave character Django himself and his friend Dr. King Shultz bond in such a way and try to change the system.
Makes me wonder if there were such friendships and those who chose to defy the system and bring change for the sake of unity. I’m sure they were
12 YEARS A SLAVE
This movie caught my attention because there was a Kenyan staring in it and it was getting a lot of positive reviews in the media. I was captivated by how well it was made. As much as the story of Patsy got attention, I was also drawn to the story of Solomon Northup. Here was a free black man living a privileged life in the midst of his fellow black men living as slaves.
After watching this I concluded that God wanted to wake him up to the plight of his brothers and sisters. He was very fortunate that his gift gave him the life he lived that he forgot about those who were suffering around him. His eyes were open when he was sold into slavery and took him 12 years to be reunited with his family again. He eventually started to help slaves get free after the ordeal.
People I ask you just do what you are meant to do. If God has put something in your heart to do, do it. Don’t wait for a traumatizing ordeal.
ROOTS and ROOTS THE NEXT GENERATION
I first watched ROOTS as a child on local TV. I got the series again and re watched it. I remember there was a scandal on whether or not it was a true story or not. Well for me I found it entertaining and I loved the journey through time. I love the zeal Kunta Kinte had for his freedom. I saw the difference between a slave born in captivity and those brought from captivity. I loved that his zeal gave his family pride to better them and it went on through the generations. In the end they got their freedom from slavery and even went ahead and got education and owned property.
I loved when Alex Haley finally traced his roots all the way to Africa and met the African man whose main purpose in the village was to memorize lineage.
It blew my mind. My dad had once told me about that, and my dad knows our family line at least 7 generations.
It made me curious to know our family history and our family tree. What are my roots and what legacy will I leave future generations
Well I can truly say watching these movies/series opened up a whole new perspective of how I view things.
It’s always easy to pick out the race issue in these movies but there is so much more to them. We have to be brave at times to do the right thing. It looks obvious but sometimes the world is against the very act of kindness in itself.
Either way, God sees what we do and will help us do what is right, we just need to take that step of faith and be willing to obey. Don’t you think so?
Picture Courtesy of mcneese.edu, amistadfunart.tv, djangounchained.org, myseries.tv, indiewire.com, burtonwire.com, play.google.com