What's with all the Black washing?

Oct 2016
Absurd. If they exist, it means they have a history. Even the apple that fall on Your head has a history.

And what's that, "true history" ???
Carl L Sanders said:
... those who have no true History of their own ...
Click to expand...
Absurd. If they exist, it means they have a history. Even the apple that fall on Your head has a history.

And what's that, "true history" ???

'History' is the record of events (better by far if written: otherwise we have stuff like Snorri Sturluson quoting old skald's as source material for his--indispensable-- saga about Harald Hardrda) ; the sub-Saharan folks, not having invented a written language, just do not have such a History.
'True History', in the sense I used the term, means that it is an accurate account of events; as opposed to a Hollywood, or propagandized version.
Thanks again to all who Posted on this interesting and timely subject.


Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
Hollywood has always followed political trends. I usually don't care, like when they added Finn and Rose and the like to Star Wars, I had no issue with it. The movies sucked for other reasons.

The problem I have is when they start screwing with established canon. I would have just as much of a problem with Mr. T playing Ripley from Alien as I would with Benedict Cumberbatch playing John Coffey from The Green Mile. One of the things I like about The Expanse for example, is that the story is naturally diverse, and they accurately represent the canon in the TV show.

That's why people have issue with the new DC Teen Titans live-action, because they're sick of people taking "artistic license" and rewriting the stories they already know and love. To some extent that applies to Star Wars too, since most of the hardcore fans grew up with the original Expanded Universe.

This also applies to History. Black people in Roman Britain? Fine. Like, there were a handful. I don't like Mary Beard's annoying pushing of it based on grave finds of people from North Africa and the Levant, who have no evidence of sub-Saharan African ancestry and are very clearly identifiably North African ("Hamitic") by genetics and osteography. And that descent does not automatically imply very dark skin color although some did have dark skin color. It happened but it wasn't common, as evidenced by the number of Roman sources who call it an "oddity," including ones from Roman North Africa. Actually studies have been done on Roman-era mummies from Egypt which found Semitic and Sub-Saharan African heritage is very uncommon before the Islamic expansion.

But there is some stuff that is absurdly ridiculous, like the Ptolemaic Greek woman, Cleopatra, who came from the upper echelons of Egyptian society which made a point not to intermingle with the local non-Greek population or other aristocracies, being portrayed as black. In a culture that actually was somewhat racist against Blacks (or at least the Nubians). Or portraying Hannibal, who was of Punic origin, as black. Now technically, neither of them should be white either, they should be portrayed by people from the mediterranean with "olive" skin or light brown skin tones. But having them portrayed by people who at least look like them with Europoid skull features is far more accurate than portraying them as sub-Saharan Africans.

So in summation: if you want to include diversity, fine. Just don't overwrite canon or factual history for the sake of political correctness.
Actually mediterranean people are white , cleopatra was of even macedon stock, olive skinned people are semitic like arabs and original jews and some north africans.
Mar 2017
If you think about it, it's an example of "I *FEEL* history should be this way .... I don't give a damn for the facts."

We *KNOW* what Hannibal looked like (one bust from antiquity, and coins). We know what his father and brother looked like (coins).

There used to be no 100% certain image of Cleopatra (the wall at Dendera & coin shared with Antony are iconography/symbolic). All those busts from Germany to the Vatican are "attributed" to her. Then suddenly the light clicked on. If you look at any carving of a pharaoh wearing the formal headress, there's something sticking out of the forehead: either one or two (cobra, vulture). The double/single uraeus is a symbol of power over the two lands. Cleopatra added a uraeus (not clear why). She created it & is the only Egyptian to ever wear it. If you Google "triple uraeus" for pictures, you'll see Cleopatra ... that's her. There's a little black statue that's has a young body (early 20's, maybe) ... there's a pharaohnic sized one where she's filled out a bit more ... there's another little statue that's been roughed up a bit .... but all the faces are identical.

The racial features speak for themselves. ".... but that's not what I *WANT* it to be."
Jul 2016
Why are these people so desperate then to identify Hannibal as different to what his own people depicted him on coins as then? It's strange, so easily refuted. Yet so many people were very emotionally arguing
for it with no evidence what so ever. I cannot believe that with Carthaginian coins showing him that any dispute could be held about this amongst serious historians.
For many, its not about knowledge or even equality, its about power. In the view of these racists, there is a finite amount of power to be had in a zero sum game, and that means for them to have power they must take it from others. By making historical figures black, these racists can aggrandize their own history while taking away from others.
Likes: macon
Mar 2017
The BBC did an "analysis" of Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe in Ephesus. The identity is not clear, the provenance is not clear, it COULD be her ... it's all circumstantial. In any case they went storming along with a clear mandate to PROVE "African heritage". Arsinoe's skull got lost something like 80 yrs ago, but they had pictures and 3D printed one ... and actually admitted they fudged a bit. They're conclusion?

The face has obvious Caucasian features ... but the skull is slightly elongated indicating "possible African ancestry."

What does that even mean?
1) Africa is a big continent with multiple races. White Numidians are Africans. Red Egyptians are Africans. Nubians are pretty dark, but they have no DNA shared with the other dark races of the interior.
2) The skull is slightly elongated? That's it? No room for genetic diversity within a gene pool?
3) Ptolemy XII had one legitimate daughter: Berenike. He had four other children and there is 0 evidence that any of them shared the same mother. If fact, if you read about Ptolemy's life style, it is more likely that they did not.

Still, the BBC wanted to make a little special that would draw in viewers. If the result had been, "Cleopatra was white" ... they might have been picketed. That is *NOT* what people want to hear. Right at start, they decided the result "Cleopatra's sister was black and so was she" ... and they spent a great deal of verbage trying to twist around the lack of of evidence to get there. This thing isn't a "documentary" ... it's a "tabloid-mentary" filled with dramatic music at times and over the top narration. "possible AFRICAN ANCESTRY!!!!" ... oh wait, what did they just say?
Jan 2010
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Fictional characters are fictional characters. If the skin color of a fictional character is important to the character (e.g. Black Panther or Otello), then it should not be changed but otherwise, what difference does it make? As to historical characters, if we know for certain the character's skin color, then it should not be changed. Otherwise, any actor or actress should be able to play any character.
Jan 2010
Atlanta, Georgia USA
Aimed at everyone, not just you - does this wish for accuracy extend to height, weight, hair colour, etc or just skin colour?
As far as I'm concerned, historical figures should be portrayed as they really were, with due regard to the desire of the film maker to "prettify" everyone (ala Queen Victoria in the TV series)

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