Friday, October 25, 2019

Black History: Lupita and the Warrior Women

Black History the Dora Milaje
People all over the world enjoyed the Black Panther movie. The film broke loads of box office records – and so it should have. As Lupita Nyong'o states, Black Panther was one of the highest-grossing films of all time.  I personally have seen it three times – so far. 
Black Panther featured the Dora Milaje – an army of women warriors whose responsibility it was to protect the King – the Black Panther.

These women were amazing – beautiful, fierce, brave – they showed incredible courage and skill.  Lupita Nyong'os character was not a member of the Dora Milaje - she played a spy who was also fierce and beautiful, and who also displayed some very impressive fighting. In the end, she put on the Dora Milaje armour and fought the battle for control of Wakanda.  

Last night, Lupita presented a programme on Channel 4 as part of their Black history season.  She discovered actual, historical African warrior women who had the job of protecting the King. It is online for the next 30 days, so I urge you to watch it if you have not done so already, or even if you have.  

Black History Walks gave a presentation last year about the historical basis of the Black Panther movie, in which Brother T. gave several examples of warrior women in Africa, who protected their monarchs.

In Dahomey, now known as Benin, Lupita discovered an historical army made up of thousands of women warriors - the Agoji.  The Agoji were press-ganged into serving, went through rigorous training and were required to obey the King.  They fought the European powers, particularly the French, who had invaded and occupied the area (and many other territories around the African continent).  

Although the knowledge about the existence of this female army is inspiring, we learned that they were also required by the King to invade other territories, notably the Yoruba territory in what is now Nigeria.  They abducted many men and women, and some of the women were enslaved in Dahomey.  Both men and women were also sold into Transatlantic slavery under the orders of the Kings.  Thus, it is also a shameful history.  

Again, watch it while it is still available online.   

Go here for more African history blogs.  


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