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Netflix: Black Cleopatra Really?

Revisionist History Strikes Again.

By Nicholas BishopPublished about a year ago 3 min read
Queen Cleopatra.

The release of the drama-documentary 'Queen Cleopatra', has caused some controversy. Egyptians and Greeks are up in arms as it portrays one of their own as black. Yet again we see historical or fictional Caucasian characters replaced by Black actors.

One could argue does it really matter in the greater scheme of things. Well, you could say no. You could put forward the argument that it doesn't matter what race, nationality, gender, faith, etc, a person is as long as they play the part well. And at the end of the day, many would argue that.

However, if you believe actors should resemble historical or fictional characters then this will be a problem for you. Queen Cleopatra is one in a long line of Caucasian parts that have gone to Black Actors. Two that spring to mind are the BBC's version of Troy where Achilles was played by a Black actor. In the Illiad by Homer Achilles is described as blonde and white skinned. That may not be a typical Greek, however, blonde, blue- eyed Greeks do exist. Brad Pitt's portrayal of Achilles in the movie Troy was closer to the truth. Then some time ago a Black actor played Anne Boleyn. Again historically inaccurate. Boleyn was White if you care to look at paintings from the time. Yes, she was described as having dark skin and eyes but that's hardly an African.

Jada Pinkett-Smith is behind the latest take on Cleopatra. Not surprising that she should pick a Black actor for the part. Pinkett-Smith like many revisionists thinks Cleopatra was Black simply because Egypt is in Africa. It is a very closed-minded take on history. No doubt, there were Sub-Saharan people in Egypt (Blacks). Some even became Pharaohs like the Khushite Dynasty. Khush to the south of Egypt was a predominantly Black civilization that was equal to Egypt in many ways. However, North Africans then and on the whole today are Caucasian having white to olive- coloured skin.

Cleopatra was of Greek descent. She came from the line of the Ptolemy Pharaohs. They were descended from a Greek General who settled in Egypt. Whose name happened to be Ptolemy. The general had served under Alexander the Great who was (like Achilles) a blonde Greek. She was the last Pharoah of Egypt. She was multi-lingual speaking Greek, ancient Egyptian, Aramaic, and Latin. After her fall and defiance of Rome Egypt then became a backwater of the Roman Empire.

There are busts and pictures of Cleopatra dating to her time on Earth. Her image is nothing like the Elizabeth Taylor image we all have in our minds. However, her features are clearly Caucasian. Many wonder what the majority population of ancient Egypt was. Mummies have been examined and their DNA has been found to be closer to Middle Eastern people of the Levant (Israel, Lebanon, etc). Also, closer to European populations.

Why is there this drive to replace fictional actors like James Bond or historical characters like Anne Boleyn or Cleopatra with Blacks? Some describe it as the Woke agenda. Others say it is trying to be inclusive and give everyone a chance. That's all well and good but if you care about history you'll get the actor to match the character. Likewise, characters like James Bond although fictional again should be played by a male Caucasian. Not a Black person, or a Woman. If such roles do not exist for ethnic or female actors then invent them. Would you have a White actor playing Nelson Mandela or Black Panther? Of course, you wouldn't because it wouldn't fit the appearance of the character. But White historical or fictional characters of Caucasian appearance are okay to be played by Blacks.

In the old days when you had John Wayne playing Ghengis Khan or Whites blacked up that was ridiculous too. Now we've gone to another extreme as explained above.

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About the Creator

Nicholas Bishop

I am a freelance writer currently writing for Blasting News and HubPages. I mainly write about politics. But have and will cover all subjects when the need arises.

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