A movie, which has had a long-lasting effect on me, was Sankofa. The movie, made by a film professor at Howard University, expanded on the definition of speculative fiction. It revolved around a model who did a photoshoot in what was a slave castle. Unbeknownst to her, she is transported back in time to when slavery was still legal and her life instantly becomes a living nightmare.
The movie and the story that propelled it brought into view the struggle that many Black people have to contend with. Something that Black Panther did in the fight between T’Challa and Killmonger, showing how these two worlds were not only associated but remained in perpetual struggle. This is an internal fight for all who are of two worlds, never feeling as you belong to either, yet still feeling lost in the wilderness known as life because of it. In Kiku Hughes‘s affecting Displacement, we find one such protagonist, who finds out firsthand what her grandmother went through during World War II in her own living nightmare.
We meet Kiku as she writes in a journal, of her current predicament, as her situation is not normal, as she stuck back in a time that is not hers. As she recalls the first time, she traveled back in time, when her mother took her to San Francisco, to find the house her grandmother lived in, when suddenly everything around her was instantly different, and she was at her grandmother’s school, and where she saw a disturbing sign, but before she could make sense of what happened, she was transported back to her time and back to her mother, who was trying to find her. This would happen to Kiku a few more times before it happened permanently. She finds herself in an internment camp, with her grandmother. She endures the atrocities that all Japanese American people did at that time, including being separated from family, censoring newspapers, random inspections, being moved to another internment camp with no notice, loyalty questionnaires, and allegiance hearings. From there it’s a mystery of the travel and what it will take for her to return to her own time.
Overall, Displacement is an illuminating and harrowing story that shows the devastating effects of “trauma in the blood” and no matter how many generations have passed. As Shakespeare eloquently eschewed “ What’s past is prologue” and this important book is the most brilliant and heartfelt exposition of that quote in our modern times. The story by Hughes is fantastical, poignant, and relevant. The art by Hughes is awe-inspiring. Altogether, a story that should bring full circle why the legalization of racial discrimination at any time, is not only deplorable but un-human.
Story: Kiku Hughes Art: Kiku Hughes
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall:10 Recommendation: Buy
First Second provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review