12 Years a Slave

So my parents have gone off to see 12 Years a Slave. Supposedly that movie has proven real popular with the critics and may be very well-crafted for all I know, but it doesn’t appeal to me at all. Way too many movies about Black History fixate on the racist victimization African people have suffered at the hands of Europeans in the last 500 years, as if Africans didn’t have their own thing going on before the white man came to screw them over. If I were African or Afro-Diasporan (I’m actually a white guy), I’d grow sick of Hollywood’s portrayal of my people as benighted victims. Why not make a Black History movie set in one of the great African civilizations such as Mali, Zimbabwe, Nubia, or even Egypt? Even smaller-scale “tribal” societies like the Zulu or Maasai might make good subject matter for a movie. Show us African people who aren’t oppressed for once.

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