Source: Disney

What Does a Black Princess Look Like?

Imagine being able to pull up a film on Yaa Asantewaa for your daughter when she asks to watch TV.

I am frustrated with the dearth of animated films with black princesses as the star characters. After my daughter’s 30th viewing of Frozen, I looked for other films with a black princess. So far, I have come across The Princess and the Frog. Today, my daughter asked to watch Sofia the First, a film that has a black princess as a secondary character. Both of these are Disney productions. Disney is a massive business that has shaped America’s imagination for decades.

I will be researching black princesses from African countries, and I am pretty sure that I will find some compelling stories to tell. Cleopatra spurred the development of our current calendar system. Yaa Asantewaa led an Ashanti rebellion against the British in the Gold Coast. I want my daughter to see these stories and pretend to be an Ewe princess.

I think it would be helpful to put together animated films that tell these stories. Send me a note at kwame@afaraglobal.co if you are an animator or historian, and would like to work on this. Tyler Perry opened Hollywood’s eyes to the financial viability of the African-American community. I wonder if the same disruption could happen in the animated film space.

Image credit: Disney

Published by

Kwame Som-Pimpong

My name is Kwame Som-Pimpong. This is my blog. You can email me at kwame (at) afaraglobal (dot) co.

6 thoughts on “What Does a Black Princess Look Like?”

  1. Thanks for writing this. I expressed similar sentiments in the following Huffington Post article. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/7172980

    There is a huge dearth of African American books and media and it negatively impacts our children and world. I think that this also presents a phenomenal opportunity and I hope that you will join me in supporting African Diaspoea animators who are creating affirming images. Please check out Ashanti MacMillon’s book Princess Vinnea and The Gulavores, Princess Cupcake Jones and Amazing Grace. For animation please check out Bino and Fino, and Global Wonders.

    Thanks for contacting me on Twitter and I hope to stay in touch brother.

    Peace and Blessings,

    Ama

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ama, what an amazing post! Thank you so much for writing that. I will never forget learning about the doll study. I was completely floored. It reminded me of a time my little sister, at around age two or three, told me that she wanted to be white. I’ve been that angry few times. I will absolutely be supporting these authors and animators.

      Like

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