For a continent with over thousands of different cultures, making it the most diverse on earth. Africa barely gets its stories told with a sense of hope and from it’s people’s perspective… not a white washed narrative.
Since long even before I was born almost all of the content in media has told stories of the European kind. Even black people in Hollywood buy into continuing to tell white stories. Don’t get me wrong I think they narrated their western culture excellently, and often pushing the agenda of White dominance which was successful until the internet become mainstream and civil rights movements in the USA. People started demanding more films,TV shows , artworks, theatrical productions that narrated the lives of all people of colour.
Honestly I’m quite fed up with this status quo. It has become apparent that many other people feel the same,lot more people than I suspected. Imagine how many people either in America or here in Africa have stories to be told. I’m not only talking about personal stories which I believe are very unique and far more interesting than how mainstream media markets it. I’m also talking about fictional and even new genres that we have never known of. Most fictional characters and their worlds always take direct influence of western culture to the point where it closes our understanding of how fiction should be told. Try to think of any broadcasting media productions throughout media history produced from a non European narrative. I can’t think about even one of them, including low budget productions. From comicbook book characters to movies like Star Trek to horror genre (literature and movies) to vampire diaries and Harry potter series, I can go on forever. All have been shaped from a small group of people, to be consumed and excepted by the other majority…basically the rest of humanity. I’m not going to turn this post into the usual race relations stats articles because anyone knows you can get those from trusted publications.
Thus far what I have observed is that when African artists from all disciplines take their talents to represent their individual stories they are successful. Much more recently this has became evident with both television and cinemas, not to mention other forms of arts like painting. Outstanding historic cinematic works of art like ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Get out’ to name a few. To the series which is by far one of the most refreshing critically acclaimed on television, ‘Atlanta’. I’m not listing descriptions on their many awards and why there are critically acclaimed.This allows you to have an untainted rating yourselves, as much as I’m desperately trying not influence your opinion before watching them if you haven’t. There’s a need for fresh takes on all forms of creative practices we might be involved in. For us as creatives to tell these ‘unvoiced’ African stories from anywhere you might be. Imagine how many fictional characters we could birth that can start a movement. There are so many black creatives that make it but never make efforts to improve the amount of black inspired creations.
I don’t care what it is you do, make sure that if you are in a very dictated field of work that you at least invest in trying to make one creation that tells a story from your black narrative . These creations with intention to inspire young people for instance. I believe that we owe it to everyone and communities that raised us to inspire others like ourselves to dream as far as they can. Like Martin Luther king dreamt of this current time, you have the power to inspire youths to become their own Martin Luther king Jr s. I know a lot of painters and sketch artists that focus mainly on Afrocentrism in their artworks. There are designers that take inspiration from poor black communities to produce something they can identify with even without the use of African print cliques. I can’t stress this enough. Neil degraese Tyson continues to inspire young scientists like myself, let us all try our best to make a difference in African story telling. We already have far more cultural diversity either traditional or urban cultures. It has been done before by the black producers of the productions I mentioned earlier that when we tell our own stories we can make ground breaking creations because we are that talented,we are that unique.Our billions of stories are that great and worthy of being narrated with respect and dignity.
Go out the and inspire others. Maybe your opinion might be focused on global warming awareness. As long as you stay true to yourself I encourage you to go out there and make the earth a better place… believe in your craft.
☔⚓🌻(*Photographs used in all the blogs are my own)