Hollywood producer Will Packer’s “Warrior Queen” is intended to show that black history didn’t start with the Transatlantic slave trade. In a recent interview, Packer reportedly indicated, people said, “We would love to hear stories of when we were kings and queens, we would love to hear stories pre-slavery. We would love to hear stories of black people and their greatness.”
Unfortunately, too many black people are ashamed of their slave roots. We need to replace this discomfort with pride and own our history, no matter how brutal and unfortunate. Black slaves are our people, strong, enduring survivors and my superheroes. I’m capable of being proud of the both the black slave and the black queen.
A number of black people feel “slave movies” portray us as weak and shattered. They believe ” Blacks were so demoralized that they just accepted their status as slaves.” However, if they knew the history, they’d know being a slave was not a choice, nor the result of a character flaw or individual weakness.
It’s distressing to watch a slaveowner sexually violate a black slave woman or to see black families torn apart for profits. There is plenty of shame to go around. However, that shame is not on the victims of the slavery. The shame lies directly with those who committed the atrocity while financially benefitting from this institution. The shame lies with a society and educational system which constantly attempts to diminish the inhumanity and long term effects of slavery in order to assuage the conscience of others.
The film industry should be held accountable in their depictions of black people and even encouraged to tell more diverse stories. Yet, telling black people not to patronize “slave movies” in itself is shameful and practically the same as saying our history shouldn’t be told at all. These are our stories, they must not only be told, but valued and respected by the black community as a whole.