Outsiders Searching for a Place Within
In life, everyone has an identity. In every way, human beings try to shape their identities with their language, culture, clothing, music, and religious practices; they even define who we are by choosing a spouse. In an historical overview, the identities of Africans were stolen through the Middle Passage to slavery. After experiencing and enduring such horrid, harsh, and inhumane conditions, Africans were given new names and backbreaking labor to bear. The names usually denoted to which owner and plantation a slave belonged. Systematically, Africans were stripped of their identities, their land, their homes, family, property, religion, language, culture, livelihood, sense of worth, sense of self, pride and dignity. As a direct result, African-Americans are a lost people, searching for who they truly are. The desperate search for self is depicted in literature via setting, characters, theme, and plot.