“Films are more than just entertainment, but also a tool used to condition our minds and keep us in a slave mind mentality,” he said. “We need to make our children stop watching these types of propaganda. It is far more crucial for ‘us’ to learn about economics and the effects it has on our race and learn how we can keep the monies we earn within our community by spending it amongst ourselves, which in turn, will help to strengthen the Black economy.”
Wright, who is also a pastor at the Holy Qubtic Church, continued: “We need to send out a message to all the corporation industries that we will not continue to support them in suppressing our race and hit them where it hurts.”
BHS said further: “Instead of using our energy to protest or boycott, this can be taken as an opportunity by our community to highlight the true history, which will then expose the film as a fraudulent representation of the history from that time.”
This is not the first time biblical characters have been misrepresented on screen. Hollywood has consistently portrayed ancient Egyptians and ancient Egyptian royalties as Europeans.
Classic films such as The Ten Commandments (1956) featured Charlton Heston as Moses and Anne Baxter as Nefertari.
Explaining how the whitewashing of Ancient Egyptians in popular culture has changed the way the world views its history, Dr Wright said: “Our parents were raised in the church and were taught these biblical stories. These stories were fed to them by European ministers when we were colonised or by the slave masters themselves then later re-enforced by European ministers after our freedom. In fact, during the 60s and 70s most children were sent to their local church every Sunday for Sunday School, making sure the spell was not lifted.”
He continued: “One of the biggest spell endorsers was the 1956 film, The Ten Commandments. After watching this movie, viewers would associate Moses with actor Charlton Heston, therefore placing in their minds that Jews were the chosen seed and everyone else were pagans.
“Another part of the spell is the misrepresentation that Egyptians were also of European descent, even though we were not taught that Egypt was a part of Africa. But whenever this became apparent we would remember that they were evil. And if by some miracle we got passed that spell and realised Egypt was in Africa and these Africans built great structures like The Pyramids, we would believe this was done by those Europeans seen in the movies.”
Advocating the importance of accurate accounts of Black history and defending why true portrayal of colour and race matters, Dr Wright explained: “The Black community have been conditioned to settle with the little they have and not to rock the boat. We have been made to feel guilty whenever we speak about our race and the exploitation of our ancestors. Yet every other race can tell their story of oppression.
“In order for our children to break out of this spiral declining self hating cycle, the truth most be told. We must seek out ‘our-story’ and give them back their ‘his-story’.”
Focusing on the future of Hollywood, BHS suggested: “If you want something done in a certain way then you should do it yourself. The honourable Marcus Mosiah Garvey taught us to do for self. If he was alive today, he would probably be making epic films of our history. Therefore, if we want to see movies like Exodus: Gods and Kings with a Black majority cast, we should be the directors as a balance to the status quo.
“There is nothing stopping us from doing it, there is enough of us to do it, if we get over the fear it can be done.”
By: Janelle Oswald