The Woman King was supposed to be another woke Hollywood black nationalist pandering exercise. Everyone involved the problem with glamorizing “matriarchal” black slavers.
“The Woman King, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and written by Maria Bello and Dana Stevens, portrays the ancient West African Kingdom of Dahomey (today’s Republic of Benin) and its legendary all-women regiment, the Agodjie. The film, which opens this weekend, is a vision of Black female power, starring Viola Davis, Sheila Atim, Thuso Mbedu, and Lashana Lynch; its promotional material blurbs a review from Variety that calls the movie “the Gladiator of our time.” But how does The Woman King handle another part of Dahomey’s history—the kingdom’s involvement in the slave trade? At a time when the participation of African rulers and middlemen in the Atlantic slave trade gets described by Americans who want to divert attention from their own responsibility for the history of slavery as “African complicity,” this film’s task is delicate, indeed.”
While the media has relentlessly promoted and defended The Woman King, black social media users aware of the actual history called for a boycott.
The endless stories about the “Amazons” of the African kingdom of Dahomey neatly fit into the leftist myth of a peaceful matriarchal Africa disrupted by European colonialism, but Dahomey ran on slavery.
The “Amazons” helped capture slaves for the Atlantic slave trade. White and black liberals are romanticizing the very culture that captured and sold their forefathers into slavery. “In Dahomey,” the first major mainstream black musical was about African-Americans moving to Dahomey. By then the French had taken over old Dahomey and together with the British had put an end to the slave trade.
The French dismantled the “Amazons” and freed many of Dahomey’s slaves only for the idiot descendants of both groups to romanticize the noble last stand of Dahomey fighting for the right to export black slaves to Cuba and condemn the European liberators who put a stop to that atrocity.
Beyond selling hundreds of thousands of slaves, Dahomey engaged in brutal atrocities.
Africans rescued from Spanish and Portuguese slaver ships, by the British navy or its privateers, then liberated on the shores of the Bahamas, were more than likely captured by King Gezo and the slave hunters of Benin.
When King Gezo, the great slave King of the Dahomey, died in 1858, some 800 slaves were massacred in his memory.
800 captured Africans were contributed, as ceremonial tribute, to the deceased King, by other African slave dealers from the Kingdom of Whydah, in what is now southern Benin, West Africa.
In 1860, two years after the death of King Gezo, his son, King Badahung, the new King of Dahomey decided that in honour of his father’s memory, a “grand custom” must be made. A “grand custom” was the ceremonial sacrifice of hundreds of slaves. A pit was dug in order to collect enough blood to float a canoe. Some 2,000 persons were to be sacrificed, they were to be beheaded and thrown into the pit to bleed out.
Untold numbers of Bahamian families today are the descendants of the slaves caught by Gezo and his Amazon all female army, then sold to the Europeans for plantations in Cuba, Brazil and America. It was only by luck and mere chance that the slave ship their ancestors were on happened to be stopped on the high seas by the British Navy.
The real movie ought to be made about the British battle against Islamic and African slavery.