Who are the real Woman Kings?

Photo (originally published in the LA Times) from the 2022 film, “The Woman King” 

As a Black woman, you get watched and gawked at, ignored, and held to the highest of standards experiencing unexplainable trials. To be a Black woman requires the thickest of skins. In society, for centuries, women of color have been expected to roll with the punches. Black women are victimized in status, racial subjugation, and sexual discrimination. 

These troubling truths stem from slavery; Black women were expected to do anything, and everything, asked of them. They were not allowed to think for themselves, let alone make decisions in general. This preconceived notion proceeded to last well after slavery and Jim Crow laws ended, drawing attention to the large elephant in the room… Black women are always the last thought. There has not been any real addressing of the matter. No bills have been passed to ensure that Black women are handled with care. No discussions have been had on how to love a woman of color the right way (at least not at the judicial level).

When “The Woman King” was first announced publicly, a lot of Black women exhaled a huge sigh of relief. To be able to watch a movie with a plethora of Black women leads, showing a perspective of reality that is not even spoken about in history books, created a great deal of excitement for the future of Black women in society. “The Woman King” not only lived up to the hype, but it created a vision that every Black woman can overcome their traumas and obstacles regardless of their circumstances. 

Unfortunately, regardless of the feelings the targeted audience of this movie had, there were plenty of critics that believed the movie was inaccurate and depicted an unrealistic perspective. A lot of people were upset, but the good thing is, those who did not receive much from the movie can move on with their lives, watching whatever nonfictional movie excites them with a smile. For those who did enjoy this movie, they will be able to watch it over and over to their heart’s content. 

Clearly, in fictional movies, a viewer’s depiction is neither right nor wrong. Although the movie was based on true history, there is much more to this movie than a historical, educational experience. “The Woman King” has a deeper meaning to a lot of Black women, and truthfully, that is the only perspective that should count when it comes to Black woman’s success.