Examples of Sunken Place
Examples of Sunken Place
Where does Sunken Place come from?
WATCH: How This Horror Movie Term Became A Real Life Metaphor
In Jordan Peele’s 2017 horror-satire Get Out, Missy (Catherine Keener) is a hypnotist who puts black men and women into trances, leaving their minds stuck in what she calls the Sunken Place as white people’s minds get transplanted into their bodies. She also uses the Sunken Place to control the black people she and her family lure to their house and keep them from escaping before the transplant occurs.
The Sunken Place was one of the most lauded elements of the acclaimed Get Out, recognized as a metaphor for the feelings of helplessness and subjugation that black people experience in society built on systemic, institutional racism. It also represents the control that white people can assert over black people through psychological, economic, and cultural oppression.
Following the film, the Sunken Place became a meme that features photos or written examples of black people showing coerced deference to white people along with a quote from the movie: “Now you’re in the sunken place.” Jordan Peele produced many notable examples himself:
“Now you’re in the Sunken Place” pic.twitter.com/e29hs8d60g
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) March 7, 2017
In late 2017, Kanye West became the subject of mocking memes after his associations with the Kardashian family led many to joke he had been taken to the Sunken Place.
— 🖤👸🏽✊🏾 (@ThugNasty_Erica) December 1, 2017
In April 2018, West replied to the Sunken Place jokes with a picture of his high-end home. Soon after, his critics only further ribbed him for being in the Sunken Place after he issued pro-Donald Trump statements and a gross revisionism of slavery.
*Starts writing ‘Get Out 2’ https://t.co/zqOW6Xxx9v
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) April 25, 2018
Who uses Sunken Place?
The Sunken Place is one of the most recognizable aspects of Get Out‘s legacy.
In black media and online communities, it has become a way to characterize black oppression, in all its many and often insidious forms, in American society.
i am tired of writing essays about Black death, Black bodies, Black loss. those are the stories THEY both want and need. “Yes…bring me your slaughtered and affected negro from the slums, who has risen from the sunken place and fallen ash of their ghost-ridden chains…”
— Joel (Jo-el) Leon. (@JoelakaMaG) July 4, 2018
Sunken Place memes are used to imply a black person who appears complicit with racist people or institutions.