A recurring theme that I see in media about slavery (and rightfully so), is the separation of family and loved ones. Having read Frederick Douglass’s narrative, it was interesting to compare to the movie Django. Douglass mentions that slave families were separated basically at birth, probably to avoid attachments, but also tells how his mother would walk miles after performing hard labor just to lay down with him for a short while before he would fall asleep. The common theme that I keep seeing is love, and the bonds that tie people together. In Django, the main character (for whom the movie is named) is also looking for his loved one: his wife.

Django and his wife, both slaves, are heart-wrenchingly separated, something that seemed to happen far too often during this time. Frederick Douglass also mentioned that slaves who got into trouble were sent ‘South’. By the end of the movie, Django has reunited with his wife, though he was unable to run away with her discreetly like he’d hoped, and is instead thwarted by the perceptive plantation owner. To me, it was interesting to see a mainstream film mirror something like Frederick Douglass’s narrative in certain aspects, and it really solidified the atrocity of slavery, especially in separating families and loved ones.

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