‘The Woman King’ Glorifies African Kingdom Instrumental In Slave Trade

(Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Women In Film)

J.W. Gibbons Contributor
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Why did Hollywood, infamous for its liberal politics, make a movie glorifying slavers?

The Woman King,” starring Viola Davis, is a new historical epic inspired by the Agojie, an all-female military force serving the West African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 19th century. The film is centered around a female general and her Amazon unit as they train for and ultimately battle against an army that is looking to change their way of life.

The only problem with this story, besides the fact that the theme is devoid of originality and taste, is that the Kingdom of Dahomey was famously involved in the procurement of African slaves for Europeans and themselves.

The kingdom was so prolific in the slave trade during the 19th century that according to an article in the Journal of African History by a professor from the University of Stirling, the British Empire had to pressure Dahomey “to end the slave trade, which culminated at the end of 1851 in a naval blockade of Dahomey.”

Not only did the Kingdom of Dahomey directly contribute to the slave trade, but they actually had to be forcefully stopped from participating. (RELATED: I Obtained Hillary’s New TV Series ‘Gutsy’ Early (And For The Record, I’m Not Suicidal)

Hollywood has never been a place for historical accuracy, but you would think that the writers, director, or even Viola Davis, would at least google the unit that they were hoping to portray. But maybe “black female unit” was as far as they could get before the dollar signs started blurring their vision.

The film begins its limp towards theaters in Canada, a country that is no stranger to overt racism, at the Toronto International Film Festival on Friday.

If you need a place to hide from the police or an ex-wife, the film will be exclusively in theaters Sept. 16.