The central truth of African American history is that Black women have been our fiercest and most steadfast warriors–and I mean “American” in the total western hemispheric sense. Nanny in Jamaica, Harriet Tubman in the USA, and numerous others from Canada to Peru, many of whom are uncelebrated, are the true sheroes of existence during slavery, colonialism, and day-to-day racism.
Black women are not often celebrated and instead are often overlooked as the warriors they are and historically have been. I am not saying that men have not historically fought the good fight–we have. But Black women have too often been ignored in the history of African struggles in the Western Hemisphere as well as on the continent.
Questions of accuracy and historical truth not withstanding, the The Woman King is a beautiful and important correction of the erasure of Black women. Staring Viola Davis and directed by Gina Prince-Blythewood, in many ways this is Wakanda part 2 and we are just getting started in telling our whole story.
As we used to say way back in the seventies, “be there or be square”. We need this movie.
A really balanced review of the movie is contained in a documentary that was done by Lapita Nyong’o who was initially cast to be in the movie. Check out her investigation of women warriors–before or after you see The Woman King.