Sankofa

Dialogues


This 1993 film by Haile Gerima bends concepts of time and space in order to take the protagonist, Mona, and the audience through the terrible ordeal that was the Maafa, the African Holocaust (swagga.com).  Although the majority of his film takes place in the past, Gerima fervently believes that the importance of the film Sankofa is the direction it can provide for both the present and the future.

As the film begins and the opening credits roll, we hear a drum beat and a voice passionately urging the spirit of the dead, those who died in Surinam, Brazil, Jamaica, Mississippi, Florida, and Alabama, to "rise up and claim their bird of passage" (Gerima). The opening sequence ends with a bronze figure of a bird with its head turned backwards, looking behind itself. The source of the drumming is revealed to be an African man, covered in a white ceremonial clay or ash.  He is named Sankofa the Divine Drummer, and, as it will be revealed, he believes that his daily drumming is necessary to lead the spirits of those killed in the African Diaspora back home. 

The scene shifts and Mona makes her first appearance along the beach, wearing what film critic Andy Spletzer calls "an orange, Tina Turner fright wig". Mona is modeling for a fashion shoot, and her white American photographer is encouraging her to "be more sexy" and to "give me more sex" (Gerima). The Divine Drummer reappears, startling Mona. Sankofa is now dressed in a flowing robe, minus his ceremonial chalked skin.  He confronts the model and photographer, chastising them in an African language that escapes the two Americans completely, but that the viewing audience is able to understand through subtitles. Because of the language barrier, Mona is able to dismiss Sankofa in her mind as absurd, and laughs at the old man.

Mona and her photographer resume their photo shoot, this time with Mona dressed in less revealing clothing.  They are no longer along the beach, but are instead on the upper levels of a castle-like structure. There are tourists that are passing in the background, and it is through an English-speaking tour guide that the audience learns more about the setting and about the motivations of the Divine Drummer. The location is the Cape Coast of Ghana and the castle-like structure is the slave fortress known as the Cape Coast Castle. It was from this place, the second largest slave fortress in Africa (panafest.com), that captured Africans were brought, gathered, and branded before they were packed into slave ships and transported to the Americas and to Europe.

The Divine Drummer again confronts Mona and her photographer, berating the two for disrespecting the solemnity of this sacred place. Sankofa tells the white photographer that it was at this fortress that whites humiliated and abused millions of Africans, and that the photographer does not belong there.  Sankofa then admonishes Mona, telling her that she does not know where she is from, and pronounces to Mona that she must "go back to her source" (Gerima). Sankofa's words are soon interrupted by armed soldiers who are seeking to preserve the fortress as a tourist destination. 

Mona seems less sure of herself and her presence on the island, and begins to follow the tourist group. The tour guide relates to his audience how, at different times, the fortress was controlled by the British, the French, and the Portuguese. As the tour continues, Mona begins to fall behind.  A door slams behind her, and the room she is in turns dark.  When Mona again finds light, she is standing before a room of silent Africans who are in chains and shackled together.  The bound Africans look at Mona, but do not say a word.  Mona runs from the chained Africans, towards a closed door, and begins to scream and cry for help.  The door is thrown open, only to reveal a courtyard of coarse looking white men.  The men grab Mona and begin dragging her towards a fire.  As she is being handled, Mona screams I'm an American!  I'm not an African!" 

Mona has her clothes ripped from her and, once she is fully exposed, she is branded with a hot iron.  Mona has been placed into bondage as an enslaved African.  She has been transported through time and, as our new narrator, Mona tells us that she is now named Shola, and she is a house slave on the Lafayette plantation.  Mona is living the life of one of her enslaved ancestors, living in bondage on a sugar cane plantation.  Mona's temporal shift into the life of Shola transforms the film into a framed story that  gives audiences insight into the ties of African love and unity that allowed many of the enslaved Africans to resist their brutal plantation tormenters. 

 

 

About the filmmaker
Haile Gerima was born in Gondar, Ethiopia in 1946. Gerima's mother was a school teacher and his father was a theater producer. As a child, Gerima studied acting and performed in his father's troupe (Heath). As a result of Ethiopia's fixation on modernization, Gerima feels that Ethiopian people had begun to see the history and culture of African peoples as inferior (Morris). "We began to worship Europeans as the providers of the new science and technology that's going to elevate our society. So the situation is in Ethiopia I am looking down on everything I have as primitive and savage, backward, and aspiring for a higher culture-westernized" (Morris).

In 1967, Gerima moved to the United States to study theatre at Chicago's Goodman School of Drama. While there, Gerima realized that the plays he was seeing were either lacking a Black presence entirely, or cast  a few Blacks in subservient roles (Morris). "In Chicago, the drama, it's all white plays. You want to act you want to be in a play it's white. So whiteness is kingdom" (Morris).

Gerima relocated to California in 1969 and attended the University of California at Los Angeles drama school (Heath), and was influenced by the Black Nationalist Movement that was building at that time. Gerima has said in interviews that "It was the best time, historically, for me to have come to America. The Black movement engulfed me and hi-jacked me out of my submissive colonial position. Out of that I developed [the theme of] `the return,' the 'journey.' So, all of my films are about returning. I am deeply indebted to this period of Black American history" (Dembrow).

In 1976, Haile Gerima joined the faculty at Howard University, the largest Black university in America. Gerima continues to produce films through his studio Mypheduh Films Inc. (Heath), and in 1996, Gerima opened his Sankofa Video and Bookstore (Iverem).  The two businesses have allowed Gerima to become one of the leading distributors of films by African and African-American filmmakers.

Filmography

Hour Glass (1971)
Color. 10 minutes

Child of Resistance (1972)

Bush Mama (1976)
Black and white. 97 minutes.

Mirt Sost Shi Amit/Harvest: 3000 Years (1975) [In Amheric with English subtitles]
Black and white. 150 minutes.

Wilmington 10- USA 10, 000 (1979)
Color. 120 minutes.

Ashes and Embers (1982)
Color. 120 minutes.

After Winter – Sterling Brown (1985)
60 minutes.

Sankofa (1993)
Color. 125 minutes.

Adwa (1999) [In Amheric and English]
90 minutes.

Top
  Dialogues

"A White Man's Heaven is a Black Man's Hell"

The title of Minister Louis Farrakhan's 1950's calypso tune seems appropriate for a discussion of religion in the film Sankofa, in part because of the spirit of Black Nationalism shared by both Gerime and Minister Farrakhan, but more importantly for the indictment of the blue-eyed version of Christianity that is used in the movie as a tool to control some of the more susceptible enslaved Africans.

Nowhere is the insidious nature of Western-style plantation Christianity more clearly revealed than in the character of Joe. Joe is the light-skinned son of Nunu. But where Nunu is a leader of the resistence and has used her knowledge of African custom and religion as a source of strength, Joe has rejected Africa, and therefore rejected his mother. Joe considers himself a Bible-fearing Christian, and turns to the plantation minister Father Raphael for guidance. Father Raphael tells Joe to pray harder and to shun Nunu, who Raphael refers to as "that heathen Guinea woman" (Gerima). Joe is frequently seen praying to a picture of the Virgin Mary and Child, in an effort to remove himself from his mother and the other enslaved Africans. Joe retreats to his worship of a white Virgin Mary in order to ease his doubts, while he castigates his own mother.

Like in Chinua Achebe's Arrow of God, there is no room for a combination of African rituals and Catholic practices. Father Raphael insists that Joe divorce himself of everything having to do with African rituals. In the view of Raphael, African traditions are "heathen devil-worship" (Gerima).

Much like Oduche in Arrow of God, Joe finds himself losing his own identity as he retreats from his African culture and moves closer to the cross. Gerima and Achebe show their audiences visions of Western-style Christianity in which there is no room for the conscious African. The African must be neutered and stripped of culture before the doors of the church will open. Oduche has to shame his family and his village by attempting to kill a sacred python in order to appease the European priest. Joe must forsake his mother and his African identity in order to appease Father Raphael. But even if these sacrifices are made, it becomes clear to audiences that Oduche and Joe will still be, at best, domesticated savages in the eyes of the priests and the other European colonizers.

The Indigenous Elite and the Head slave as the Dogs with the Collar on
My Uncle Rozell would often jokingly tell my mother that he wasn't just any dog, he was the dog with the collar on, and therefore special. For my uncle, this was only the playful boasting that occurs between siblings. However, there is a more pernicious side to that need to separate oneself from the group, and it is this failing that the plantation oppressors of Sankofa and the colonizing agents of God's Bits of Wood, Arrow of God, I, Rigoberta Menchu, and Don't Be Afraid Gringo are able to capitalize on in order to gain and maintain control.

In the film Sankofa, while the white plantation owner, Lafayette, and his white overseer, James, are in charge at the plantation, they delegate some of their authority to formen, or head men, who handle the grunt work of surveillance and punishment. These head men, while still enslaved, are charged with walking amongst the field hands distributing beatings liberally in order to keep the workers moving at the pace set by the white overseer. When mass whippings are called for, it is the head man who is required to exert himself in "drawing blood from them black hides" (Gerima), while the white overseer is able to relax and supervise the process of exploitation in relative comfort.

The head slave enjoys better lodging, better food, and the benefits of less strenuous labor. But the advantages that accompany the position of head man all come directly at the expense of the suffering endured by the other enslaved Africans. Each increased comfort that the head man enjoys has been purchased with the blood of his fellow Africans.

During the film, Nunu laments that she experienced nine months of labor just to give birth to a son, Joe, who would be a head man. Nunu makes her pain clear when she remarks that she would rather Joe have died as an infant than to become "a head man for the white man" (Gerima).

Keeping with the philosophy for which his film was named, Gerima has said the he wanted to use "slavery as a landscape" to bring into sharper focus the issues African Americans need to address today. "I see the contemporary echoes of the past. If you look at America as a plantation, then you can codify the different classes and interest groups within the society. You find overseers, head slaves, you find plantation owners in a very advanced, sophisticated way. This is why I felt I had to do the film. I was not interested in the past because it was exotic or brutal. I was very interested in its relationship to the present" (Wright).

While God's Bits of Wood, Arrow of God, I, Rigoberta Menchu, and Don't Be Afraid Gringo all take place outside the historical contexts of true slavery, all three works relate the experience of indigenous people who are caught up in stages of the colonial exploitation process. And in all three written works, as in Sankofa, it is possible to identify characters who are either indigenous themselves or the descendants of indigenous people, who has still made the choice to enlist with the colonial oppressor at the expense of their own culture and people.

In God's Bits of Wood, the Muslim clergy fill this role, preaching the strikers that it is best to accept the domination of the French as part of God's plan (Ousmane 124).

In Arrow of God, the British District Officer, Captain Winterbottom, hopes to use the various villiage priests as agents of European control and colonization (Achebe 57). The British colonial plan of indirect rule requires that Warrant Chiefs be created in each village. The thought is that the Warrant Chiefs will control the village, and the British will control the Warrant Chiefs.

The ladinos that own the land in the Guatemala and Honduras ofI, Rigoberta Menchu and Don't Be Afraid Gringo are ethnically derived from the indigenous Indian peoples that they are oppressing. Insteading of feeling kinship with their fellow Guatemalans and Hondurans, the ladinos oppress the indigenous Indians, and rule over a brutal system of inequality that in part benefits the ladinos, but mostly benefits the businesses of their new colonizer, United States.

 

Rootless and over-tolerant

There is a striking difference between the representation of plantation life in Haile Gerima's Sankofa and that set forth by Alex Haley's Roots.   The enslaved Africans of Haile Gerima's film not only attempt to run away, but also try to rescue other slave, and begin their own society.  Most noticeably, Gerima reveals enslaved Africans like Shango who are willing to grab machetes and attack their white oppressors in order to protect each other.  Sankofa shows us Africans that have formed their own resistance societies in the hills, and that gather weapons and seeds in an effort to become independent.  These defiant ex-slave societies were know as Maroon camps, and audiences are able to witness how the Maroon group that Shango and Nunu belong to stockpiles food and weapons in an effort to use violence to win freedom for those Africans still enslaved on the Lafayette plantation. 

Such determination and resolution is beyond the enslaved Africans in Roots.  The Africans make attempts to resist the white slave traders during the Middle Passage from Africa.  But as first, second, and third generation laborers on the plantation, the enslaved Africans never again try to confront or forcibly resist their white owners.  It is this sense of passivity and acceptance that Gerima finds frustrating and historically inaccurate.  Gerima has said in interviews that he was very unhappy with Roots claiming that the film "didn't embody the struggle and the resistance spirit of black people in the sense of fighting back". In Gerima's view, Roots "only showed their tolerance - their capacity as victims to tolerate what was perpetrated on them. The spirit of resistance was very much absent" (afgen.com).  

It would be unfair to describe Roots as a film made for white audiences. However, Roots may well have been informed by the sensibilities of the white mainstream. In the view of American audiences then-and likely now-it was better for enslaved Africans to have endured barbarous abuse at the hands of the European plantation establishment, and for those Africans to have suffered and died in non-violent dignity until such time as white society began to aclimate itself with the truth of African humanity.

Few Americans recognize the hypocrisy in celebrating their country's armed revolution over uncomfortable tax representation while begrudging indigenous people their need to defend their culture and humanity against colonial terror and exploitation. With Sankofa, Haile Gerima provides a refreshing interruption against the figment of an unwavering, one-sided, African non-violence.

  Notes

The Principle of Sankofa versus the Myths of Cultural Evolution and the Neutral Progression of Time
As Haile Gerima defines it, the term sankofa means "to move forward, you must reclaim the past. In the past, you find the future and understand the present" (afgen.com). In this light, a people's knowledge of their history is a source of strength and, especially for people of African descent, a necessary tool in struggle to emancipate consciousness and reclaim humanity. Gerima believes that not only does history heal, but that "history is power" (afgen.com). In the film Sankofa, the healing power of history is made clear in the character of Nunu. Unlike the other enslaved Africans on the Layfayette plantation, Nunu was born in Africa and has strong memories of African rituals and culture. These memories provide strength for Nunu and the other enslaved Africans that stand with her in the resistence movement. What dignity and salvation is to be had for Africans on the plantation comes largely as a result of Nunu's knowledge of the Motherland.

It is those enslaved Africans that are estranged from Africa that suffer the most on the plantation. Headslaves such as Joe and Noble Ali are rudderless and torn, abusing their fellow Africans on behalf of the white plantation owners. Shola suffers continuous sexual abuse from Lafayette, the plantation master. However, Noble Ali and Shola find certainty, understanding, and purpose through their relationship with Nunu and her understanding of African traditions. If Shola and Noble Ali allow their self-identity to begin with their own birth as slaves, then they are confined as beings intended only for inferiority and servitude. Knowledge of themselves as Africans opens up both characters to the realization of their own humanity and the determination to fight for and reclaim their human dignity. A slave does not fight for freedom, because it subconsiously accepts bondage as a natural state. An enslaved African understands captivity as an unnatural and temporary state against which one must rebel. It is knowledge of self that history and culture provide that heal the wounds and missing identity created by slavery.

There are those Western thinkers that would argue that indigenous culture is savage cuture, and must eventually give way to the superior culture of the European in much the same way that the dinosaur gave way to the mammal. This is a poorly disguised white supremacist argument that not only presupposes the inherent superiority of Western culture, but also removes guilt from the Western agressor. A fiction is created that fault does not lie with the explorer, the missionary, or the exploitative colonizer. The myth of cultural evolution makes use of a disingenous Darwinian shellgame that instead places any fault that does exist upon the colonized indigenous culture for not being fit enough to survive contact with Western culture. The dissolution of indigenous culture and the opression of the indigenous person is seen as part of the inevitable forward progress of time.

The very plot sequence of Sankofa argues against such exclusionary assumptions. Mona, the protagonist, is sent back into in order to "go back to her source" and more strongly identify with her African self. It is this journey back in time that strengthens Mona for her return back to the present at the end of the film.

Progress and manifest destiny for the colonizing Westerner is little more than an oppressive dystopia for the indigenous person. An awareness of history and culture are the tools that allow colonized people the possibility of facing the future on their own terms.

The Snake will have whatever is in the Belly of the Frog
While Shola is a servant in the Lafayette plantation house, her love Shango is a laborer in the harsh sugar cane fields. While both characters were born into bondage, Shola has been reared to be more accepting of her status, while Shango is unceasingly rebellious.
At one point in the film, while Shango is in the pilliary for physically challenging Master James, the white overseer, Shola brings leftover food from the plantation house for Shango. Shango refuses to eat the food, and asks Shola why she is unwilling to join the insurrection. Shango asks Shola "Why you no can be like we Shola? Why you no eat the frog like we, Shola"(Gerima)? Shango then tells Shola that "the snake will eat whatever is in the belly of the frog." Shola is mystified, but as Shola expands her consciousness and becomes part of the Maroon society, she and the audience come to realize the meaning behind Shango's words. Gerima explained the meaing behind this philosophy in a 1996 Internet chat, in which Gerima said "its implication in Sankofa is where by the plantation owner is symbolized by the frog. And the freedom fighters, Maroons, Rebels are symbolized as snakes. Overseerers, head slaves, dogs as instruments of repression as mercenaries to the plantation owner are simply symbolized within the boundary of the frog's stomach and that the rebellion is out to strike not only at the plantation owner but at the weak links and instruments of that system " (Melanet).

Gerima phrases his explanation in terms of an assumtion by the Maroons (snakes) of the tools of power that belong to the plantation owner (frog). For Gerima, this uprising of the enslaved Africans is about more than the acquisition of the plantation owner's material wealth. The notion of the enslaved feeding upon the plantation establishment is powerfully metaphoric, but also just and reciprocal.The plantation owner and Western culture has grown fat by consuming the lives, labor, and culture of Africans both at home and in the Diaspora. For a people whose being and way of life were being sacrificed on the alter of modernity and colonial exploitation, to then turn and make plans to feast on their oppressors on any level, metaphoric or literal, then that is the kind of reciprocity and balance that should be sought.

The Displacement of the Intelligentsia as Interlocutor
From the standpoint of postcolonial studies, the shift of the creator from author to filmmaker becomes more than a matter of accessibility. The media of film does pierce the barrier of illiteracy the may enclose a majority of people in the developing world. However, Haile Gerima also made it clear in a March 2001 interview, that the access that a movie provides displaces the intelligentsia (Africultures.com). There is no need for the ideas of the creator to be interpreted, edited, and diluted by an educated elite. Gerima made his remarks in terms of the feedback that he receives from those outside the intelligentsia, and how the feedback that he received from federal prisons in
Ohio developed his thinking more than than any feed back he could have gotten from writer, educator, and cultural critic bell hooks, or any of his colleagues at Howard University.

Gerima's remarks point to a fascination with the purer quality of truth that comes from the voice and perspective of the common citizen at the bottom of the societal pecking order. My own interest lies in the displacement of the intelligentsia that allows the voice of the common citizen room to be expressed. Knowledge of dependency theory informs us that it is the intelligentsia that often is part of the governing class, belonging to "the upper echelon of the politico-economic hierarchy who have a direct impact on governmental decision-making" (Aybar de Soto). That often places the intelligentsia of a country in a position that is in conflict with that purer source of truth that is the common citizen, as the intelligentsia on some level, are winners in the system that requires the oppression and underdevelopment of the masses. For the elite to continue to win in the status quo, the common citizen must continue to lose. Therefore, any idea for the betterment of society that requires translation from the intelligentsia before it reaches the common citizen, will not reach that citizen intact.

I am reminded of Malcolm X's displeasure with the 1963 March on Washington. According to Malcolm X, the march began as a poor people's march to protest the lack of opportunity for the poor in the United States. Once the established and endorsed leaders of the Civil Rights Movement took control of the march, Malcolm's view was that the march became a march led by middle-class aspiring Negroes, for middle-class aspiring Negroes, with the goals of integration, assimilation, and advancement up the American economic ladder. Since there was a small and finite number of Blacks in America who would be allowed to advance, let alone trained and able, the marched ceased to be a march to benefit poor people of color, but instead became a pageant for the inclusion and the upward mobility of the Black intelligentsia.

Beyond the ability to hijack marches, it is also possible for ideas to be commandeered, and the switch from the written word to moving pictures helps prevent this.

  Links

*1Worldfilms.com
This site retails the Gerima film Harvest: 3000 Years.

Afgen.com
This site contains an article from the Final Call describing the fire that burned a supply room containing 10,000 copies of Sankofa, as well as copies of Harvest 3000 Years and Bush Mama.

**Africana.com
This Africana.com site provides biographical information on Gerima and a brief description of his work and career.

**Africana.com-Adwa premiere
This site provides a review of Gerima's film Adwa, commentary on its premiere as a benefit to the late Congressman Mickey Leland and sister Jember, and a brief biography on the filmmaker's life and career.

***Africana.com-Ethiopian Filmmaker Haile Gerima Keeps on Fighting
This site contains an interview with Gerima conducted by freelance writer Ayesha Morris.

***Africultures.com
This site provides an interview with Gerima in which he discusses audience and his definition of African film.

*The Austin Chronicle
This site features a brief review of the film.

**BBC News
This site features an article by Jatinder Sidhu called African Cinema: Setting the record straight.

***The College Street Journal
This Mount Holyoke College site features the transcripts to a 1995 lecture on film that Gerima gave at the college.

**Diane Glave
This page from Diane Glave's teaching site features list of characters from the movie Sankofa, as well as discussion questions and themes to look for while viewing the film.

**Essence
This online article by Martha Southgate discusses the practice and importance of remembering the Maafa, or Terrible Occurrence, and looks into why a Brooklyn church congregation feels that understanding the past is essential to correcting the present circumstances of people of African descent.

*Films.com review by John Hartl

*Films.com review by Andy Spletzer

**IMDb.com
This site features a filmography and a mio-biography of Haile Gerima.

**Ireggae.com
This site centers on the performance of actor and reggae star Mutabaruka, who plays the strong and rebellious Shango. The site features links to reviews of the movie, merchandise and memorabilia, and an audio commentary of Gerima on his experience of working with Mutabaruka.

**Legacy.com
This site by "Africa's leading magazine on social issues" features a review of the film Adwa, short discussion of Sankofa and its importance as a film, and a brief biographical discussion of Gerima.

*Maafa.org
This site presents a collection of historical photographs and attempts to present a pictorial account of the lynchings of 20th century America.

***Melanet
This site from the "premiere website for African-American Commerce and Information" features an online chat with Haile Gerima.

**Michael Dembrow
This page from a teaching site on African film is maintained by Portland Community College professor Michael Dembrow, and includes a synopsis of the movie from Mypheduh films, an excerpts from Essence magazine on the making of the film Sankofa, and an article from Black Film Review discussing the importance both Sankofa as a movie and Gerima as a filmmaker.

*Mutabaruka.com
This site focuses on the career of reggae star and actor Mutabaruka and provides ordering information for cassettes, compact discs, and video tapes of his performances.

**Mypheduh Films
This is the official site for the movie and also part of the website for Mypheduh Films. The site offers the films of Haile Gerima for purchase, as well as contact information for scheduling speaking engagements.

**Oneworld.org
This site features an article by Haile Gerima in which he discusses censorship and the release of Sankofa.

**The Politics of Black Film Distribution
This Occidental College site looks at the film Sankofa as part of a discussion on the distribution of Black films that includes Watermelon Man and Waiting to Exhale.

**Rastifaritoday.com
This site provides a short interview with Haile Gerima in which he discusses film and the idea of politics versus telling the story of a people.

*Seeingblack.com
This site contains an article by Esther Iverem detailing the Sankofa video and bookstore that Gerima operates in Washington, DC. The store specializes in selling independent and foreign films to a Black audience.

**Swagga.com
This site provides articles, pictures, and links dealing with the Maafa or African Holocaust.

  Teaching

What is at the top of Sankofa the Divine Drummer’s staff?

Who does the tour guide say Sankofa believes he is communicating with when he plays his drums?

As she is dragged away, Mona yells, "You're making a mistake! Stop! I'm not an ____." What is Mona refusing to identify with? How has Mona's perception of her identity changed by the end of the movie?

What does Shola say makes things "easier to accept things like they was"? If the word sankofa has to do with returning to past in order to correct the future, what are we to make of Shola's words?

Why are we told that Shango has never decided to run away? What does this information suggest about the bonds between enslaved Africans

Why does Shango refuse to eat the food that Shola brings to him? Is Shango exercising rebellious pride and rejecting Shola, or is Shango drawing a line between himself and something else?

  Citations

"A Chat with Haile Gerima". Melanet. 4 April 1996. On line posting. 21 April 2002. http://www.melanet.com/Sankofa/sanchat.html

Alim, Fahizah. "Haile Gerima-Sankofa" The Sacramento Bee. 31 March 1995.

Aybar de Soto, Jose M. Dependency and Intervention: The Case of
Guatemala in 1954
. Boulder: Westview Press, 1978.

Dembrow, Michael. "Handout on Sankofa". 21 April 2002. http://spot.pcc.edu/~mdembrow/sankofa.htm

Haile Gerima lecture given at Mount Holyoke College. Mtholyoke.edu. 21 April 2002. http://www.mtholyoke.edu/offices/comm/csj/950405SE/toc.html

Hartl, John. "Fighting to Be Seen". Films.com. 21 April 2002. http://www.film.com/film-review/1994/9366/109/default-review.html

Heath, Elizabeth. "Haile Gerima". Africana.com. 21 April 2002. http://www.africana.com/Utilities/Content.html?&../cgi-bin/banner.pl?banner=Arts&../Articles/tt_822.htm

Iverem, Esther. "Blackbuster: Haile Gerima's D.C. Store Rents
A Different Kind of Black Film". Seeingblack.com.
9 April 2001. 21 April 2002. http://www.seeingblack.com/x040901/sankofa.shtml

Johnson, David. "Film on Ethiopian Victory over Colonialism to Premiere in Washington, DC". Africana.com. 5 November 1999. 21 April 2002. http://www.africana.com/DailyArticles/index_19991105.htm

Morris, Ayesha. "Ethiopian Filmmaker Haile Gerima Keeps on Fighting". Africana.com. 29 March 2002. http://www.africana.com/DailyArticles/index_20020329.htm

"The Politics of Black Film Distribution". Occidental College. 21 April 2002. http://www.oxy.edu/~morrisc/sankofa.htm

"Sankofa". Afgen.com. 21 April 2002. http://afgen.com/sankofa.html

Sankofa. Dir. Haile Gerima. Perf. Kofi Ghanaba, Oyafunmike Ogunlano, Alexandra Duah,Nick Medley, Mutabaruka, and Afemo Omilami. Videocassette. Mypheduh Films. 1993.

Spletzer, Andy. "A Slave's Story". Films.com. 21 April 2002. http://www.film.com/film-review/1994/9366/3/default-review.html

Wright, Assata E. "A Return to the Past". Black Film Review. Vol. 8 Issue 13. 1994. 21 April 2002. http://spot.pcc.edu/~mdembrow/sankofa.htm

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