Blacks sold blacks, African rulers became involved in trading and sailing of their own people. “The ordeals of our history linger in the collective memory and contribute to a sense of inadequacy, low self-esteem, and feelings of inferiority. (Hopson & Hopson Pg 38 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mates) Until Lions tells their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter” African proverb Legacy, this segment discusses the lasting impression of inferiority that the legacy of slavery has left on the contemporary generation of people of African heritage around the world.
In contrast to the holocaust, several scholars declare, blacks are discouraged by society to forget their slave heritage whereas Jewish communities are celebrated for keeping the memory of their persecution alive. Today white people try and brush the African heritage under the table, but we as black people have to learn our history in order to come out of the enslavement that we continue to practice. Starting with the image of God, the white people had us believe that God was white so we are conditioned to think white is superior to all. Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change what is within their souls.
(Ar-Ra’d 13:11 Qu’ran) We have to replace our negative images and thinking with positive ones. We have to become more conscious of who we are in this world and not accept white people’s ways as our own. We have to know our place in this society and how you got here in order to learn yourself worth and to begin to love and accept your culture as something that is good. We must confront and process our history so that it loses its power over our lives. Only then are we free to declare: “I am a beautiful Black person and there is nothing I cannot do. ” When we have internalized this belief, we are ready to love ourselves and one another.
(Hopson & Hopson pg 39 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mates) Racism which persists in the under representation of blacks in positions of authority and the over representation of young black males in the U. S. prison population, makes you understand how society constantly attempts to ignore this elephant in the room. The whites created a behavior power system that encourages people to hate us before they even know us. Racism is alive today in every aspect of black’s life such as in employment, renting, or even establishing a business. We as blacks today subject ourselves to the white man ways, to keep us ignorant of our history.
We are so blinded by them that we continue to put out negative images to continue the white man’s justification that we are savages and they are supreme to us. When Blacks internalize the irrational messages of racism, they feel a sense of worthlessness and powerlessness that creates low self-esteem, depression, and self-defeating behavior. “WE MUST CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK ABOUT RACISM” (Hopson & Hopson pg 46-47 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mates) I am apt to suspect the Negroes to be naturally inferior to the whites. There scarcely ever was a civilized nation of the complexion. (500 years later film quote)
Identity, is accepting that person in the mirror which says you are not white. Knowing our history and accepting the struggles that we as a people had to endure. The word enslavement was not part of the African language; no part of the African language was to dehumanize anyone. In the movie Sankofa it urges us to equip ourselves with our history and to change our way of thinking. To be the people we once were and not accept the European/American way as a guide to live by. We must seek our past in order to define our future. As you begin to understand and accept the wisdom of your inner voice, allow it to become your guide.
Trust in yourself as a spiritual being, aware of the world around you, open to change, and able to grow. Refuse to become bogged down by negative patterns. Realized that you are an attentive and sentient human being traveling on the path toward your true self. The more you understand about yourself, and begin to like what you discover, the more prepared you will be to forge a soul-mate relationship. (Hopson & Hopson pg 62 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mate) Education, was not originally designed to help blacks although are history clearly show we were well educated people from our homeland.
Education is something that we as a black culture will not take seriously. We as American Blacks are throwing away our power, which is to be educated. Only a fool would let his enemy educate his children. ( Malcolm X) The whites are betting on us, staying ignorant to our history and the accomplishments of our people before becoming enslaved to the Europeans. So many of our black people choose to idolize the wrong things such as becoming a singer, a ball player or even a gangster or drug dealer, instead of becoming lawyers, business owners, educators or even inventors.
So many of us don’t want to give back to our own communities to help uplift and encourage growth among ourselves. To be educated is to be confident. To learn means to liberate yourself and know how to conduct yourself in the future. Education means to have a positive outlook on society. Educating yourself means changing behavior, learning self respect, and erasing old tapes, understanding you have no control over the past, and taking responsibility for yourself in the present. In conclusion, in reviewing the film, the main message that I took from this film is the importance of history in our society. Changing HIS-tory into OUR-story.
Not being ashamed of our past or afraid to give a voice to our ancestors. Unlike many documentaries, 500 Years Later not only tells history, but gives fundamental advice to using our past to prosper for the future. The teachings of the book told me learning about my history is very important part of knowing who I am. You must learn to love yourself first and come to terms with your past in order to find a true mate of your own. Understanding and educating yourself on life events and knowing the struggles that our ancestor and your own struggles will strengthen you and make you a better partner for life.
It will give you the courage to stand on principles and values, give you confidents and the ability to know what you will and will not accept in a mate. This knowledge is not to be kept to yourself, we are to educate our brothers and sisters who are willing to listen and learn. The tools we inherited from our ancestors that sustain us to this day are our inner strength, determination, spiritual, and kinship ties. Our ancestors demonstrated courage, determination, and a passionate commitment to family, the same characteristics soul mates strive for today.
(Hopson & Hopson pg 42 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mates) A commitment is a relationship between two people with the same kind of values in life, a willingness to overcome barriers and being sensitive to each other needs. I have never experience a true relationship in which I have had all of the above. Now that I understand what a commitment and Soul mate means I will not settle for anything less. The courage to experiment and take risks, the willingness to be patient, and the compassion to offer support and encouragement are the tools needed to achieve victory. (Hopson & Hopson pg 118 Friends, Lovers, & Soul mate)