The Hollywood Moses allegory has served to racially construct public history toward three ends: 1) write Africans out of history, 2) write Indo-Europeans into ALL historiography even where they have NO place, and 3) depict “Egypt” as an Asian civilization in a historical dialectic triumphing the inevitable victory of the West over the rest.
So one of my favorite film directors, Ridley Scott helmed another monumental film depicting the Biblical Exodus story. The film, to be released this year, Exodus: Gods and Kings, depicts the pseudo-historical Moses, leader of the nascent Hebrew nation and the very historical Ra-Moses II, the 19th dynasty Pharaoh. The controversy over the strictly European film cast sheds light on the Western culture industry’s constantly reinforced European claim to power across all periods even in times and places, where they are neither protagonist, antagonist, or agonistic innocent bystander. In 1843, the Reverend Henry Highland Garnet spoke to the misappropriation of African history by the West tying that truth regime to the justification of American enslavement of Africans,
“…the modern world seems determined to pilfer Africa of her glory; her merciless foes weary themselves in plundering the tombs of our renowned sires, and in obliterating their worthy deeds, which were inscribed by fame upon the pages of ancient history.”
The film should also reinforce the determination of Africana Studies scholars to support Black film production and to continue to unearth hidden narratives from the past. The image at right is a Nile valley depiction of Ramses II during his lifetime in a Nubian temple.
At TriCities Vigil for Michael Brown and Against Violence with Principal Simms, my students, Darnell Shelton and Isaac Taggart and the HUGS staff. So proud of Principal Simms and his commitment to education as a force for transformation.
Please join us for a celebration of the life and legacy of scholar-activist, Dr. Vincent Harding, Aug 22, Morehouse College. See flyer for details.
Dr. Marcellus Barksdale, Dean Clarissa Myrick-Harris, Dr. Samory Livingston and Dr. Vicki Crawford welcome Dr. Marc Lamont Hill to the African American Studies Program and Morehouse College.