History’s Black Market

Back in December, I watched a documentary with my family called “Hidden Colors.” It revealed the contributions and stories of people of color around the globe that have been excluded from our history books and erased from history’s timeline. This documentary mediated an image of black people I had never seen. It depicted my history before my ancestors’ struggle in America and mass colonization of their continent. Below is the trailer for “Hidden Colors 3.”

I’ve wrote a lot about the importance of African Americans creating their own voice due to the lack thereof in the media. “Hidden Colors” unmutes black history and tells the untold histories of my people from a black perspective. I found this documentary to be extremely powerful, and I strongly recommend that you all watch it. The latest installment of this documentary, “Hidden Colors 3,” will be in select theaters [show times] on Thursday, June 26th, 2014.

Watching this documentary had such a powerful effect on how I saw myself and my people that it inspired me to write and perform this poem:

At the end of the day, it is important to question what is mediated to you because everything has an agenda. In journalism school I learned the term “agenda setting”: the news doesn’t tell you what to think but it tells you what to talk about. I argue that this phenomena goes beyond journalism and extends into academia. Our history books and academic curriculum tells us what is important to learn and what is unimportant. I encourage you to explore the unspoken, the untaught. You’ll be surprised at what you find.


  1. My husband and myself, intentionally exposed our daughters to their African American Heritage at an early age and continue to do so today. We fully understand that African American History does not begin with slavery, but in Africa. We also travel a lot and each city/town we visit we explore the local African American History and engage with the local community. We feel it’s important for them to hear OUR story from OUR perspective. As mention in blog, “agenda setting” determines what’s important and what’s not. It’s parents responsibility to set the agenda and ensure that their children have an understanding of their ancestry which in turn gives them confidence in who they are.

  2. admin

    June 24, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Thanks for you comment Tonya. I agree that parents share some responsibility in supplementing their children’s education, especially when it comes to teaching them their ethnic heritage!

  3. I want to see this doc so bad! All of them!! Money super tight in my household but I want to purchase so I can see it in it’s entirety.

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