So, yes, to the remake of Roots! Yes, to another season of Underground! Yes, to the release and record-selling purchase of Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation. Yes, to the re-release of Daughters of the Dust.

But why stop there? Let’s tell the story of Bass Reeves, an enslaved man who ran away to become one of the most successful bounty hunters ever. He arrested over 3,000 criminals, including his own son. Let’s talk about the American Revolution from the black perspective, where George Washington himself contended, “Success will depend on which side can arm the Negro faster.” Let’s tell the story of successful entrepreneur Mary Ellen Pleasant, who set up shop in San Francisco and became the largest financier to John Brown’s raid, donating $30,000 of her own money. (And I’m still waiting for someone do to Octavia Butler’s Kindred, who proved slavery and science-fiction are not mutually exclusive genres.)

What we need are more writers and producers and directors with creativity and courage. We historians are more than ready to supply the stories.

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