The eight episode series on Netflix, Black Earth Rising, is deeply thought provoking. It raises important questions that it doesn’t answer about the horrific things, including genocide, that happened in Rwanda and Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). It has stuck with me and pokes me throughout the day at the edge of my consciousness. It’s powerful, and on the surface seems like groundbreaking work, but beyond the subject matter, the form it takes bothers me.
I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if an African had written it. I wonder if there would be a white guy as one of the main lead characters. Would the main African character have been literally saved by whiteness? Sure, the story has to contain white people, as they did play a nefarious colonizing role, but how do Africans see those characters? I can guess that they pretty much don’t need to center them. How would the conversations and relationship dynamics between … Read the rest