US Of A – Justice: A Breakdown

A combination of my own fiction influenced my story, as well as the ‘memories’ of Shaka Sankofa. By combining these two elements, I have created my own series of events taking place in the family home making the narrative more personal from the get go. Shaka’s father referred to his stepmother as ‘yo momma’, showing no respect for his child or regard for his feelings.

I wrote this on the basis that his institutionalised mother had died when he was young, meaning that he ended up with his father, an alcoholic and his stepmother. I found myself portraying a sense of bitter nostalgia, as the times when he was young were not under good circumstances, but he would still rather be there than be killed by the State.

I will be researching more into the concept of memory throughout the next few weeks in my other module; 305MC that I find has explored a lot of overlapping themes and topics to what I have found out from my research so far.

The use of memories involving food that I constructed on behalf of my character allowed me to introduce food as a theme, in hope that this would create a sense of authenticity, in attempt to add to the harsh reality the character is positioned in. A combination of these factors began putting me in the position them use it as an avenue to move forward with my character development.

The jump through time hallway through the narrative was intentional, as I did not want the audience to know exactly where the story was going right from the outset. A brief mention about George Bush and his stories about the Justice System were based on my research; all I had to do was make it fit in with the style of the piece, and I achieved this by using a certain language and tone of voice.

I wanted to keep the topic of steak consistent from beginning till end, as I feel like it represents a lot in the piece, thus holding a lot of meaning.   Therefore, by ending the script with the abrupt words, “I AIN’T MY DADDY, AND I DON’T WANT NO MOTHERFUCKIN’ STEAK!’

Obviously, Sankofa is saying that he doesn’t want any steak for his final meal.  But why?  This is what I have left open to interpretation.  My interpretation is that he used to look up to his father as a kid, when he definitely shouldn’t have.  Perhaps he wouldn’t have ended up on death row if it wasn’t for that monster.  Sankofa denies the murder of Grant Lambert to his deathbed (as he did in real life) and also turned down his final meal.  Research has previously shown that inmates who please not guilty are more likely to decline their last meal.  This factor also influenced my script.

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