Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

When We Were Queens December 1, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — cuzzo @ 11:47 pm

I’m not even about to pretend like I’ve read a lot of books or seen a lot of movies that weren’t pretty much mainstream. But, what I have noticed is that there are a WHOLE LOT of movies that have hit the big screen focused on white empires. Is my mind playing tricks on me? Did they put our stories in the indie film circuit? Do we not have a known history prior to being put on a boat?

I just saw an advertisement on Showtime for “The Tudors” – a series about King Henry VIII and his shenanigans during his reign of 16th century England. This series isn’t new…now, let’s add movies like “Troy”, “Gladiator”, “300” (which I only saw out of curiosity because an ex kept raving about it…I wasn’t impressed) and any other movie where a bunch of white men are fighting each other with armor and horses and whatnots. See a pattern here?

I’m quite certain I learned about these folks in elementary or high school…and the only African empirical history consisted of King Tut and Queen Nefertiti (possibly not even her) – both Egyptian as if Egypt is the only country in Africa. Movie-wise, I believe only Cleopatra was depicted and the whole cast was white…not completely unusual for Egypt…and it’s pre-Jesus. Ummmm, can I get something post-Jesus but pre-slave ship with a little non-Egypt on the side? Thanks

I don’t want to take the shine away from movies like “Sarafina”, “The Last King Of  Scottland”, and “Hotel Rwanda” but they are all plotted beginning in the early 1970’s.

Though not quite the 16th Century (more like late 19th, early 20th) nor does it involve an actual empire, I’d still like to see “Things Fall Apart” made into a movie.

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2 Responses to “When We Were Queens”

  1. LP Says:

    Great post and very interesting and accurate observation.

    The problem (or what big studios will tell you the problem is) is that African cultures as a whole didn’t use written history but rather relied on Oral History that was passed down the generations through a griot caste. Those castes have all but disappeared, the little we know about the history has been written but a lot of pieces seem to be missing (again that’s what the studios would say)…

    I am from Cote d’Ivoire, a tiny country in West Africa, and I had the chance to study the big Kingdoms of West Africa (predominantly) in school. The history is rich and layered and exciting. Unfortunately, I am sure filmmakers are in the business of making money and I am not sure they can rack up enough funds to produce a story on Sunjata Keita (which I think will be an AWESOME story if it could be well-cast and well-played)…. I am just hoping a crazy filmmaker like Mel Gibson will one day do an Apocalypto-type movie about great civilizations on the continent…

    Or that Nollywood(Nigerian Hollywood) will become relevant enough to actually garner talented screenwriters to write about those stories.

    Excellent post!

  2. Hello,

    Just came across this post — very sharp observation! There are so many fabulous subjects out there for films and books. We just need to write them — passionate believers make great story tellers.

    Write on!
    Karin


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