No. 64: What Does a Black Princess Look Like?

Source: Disney

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