AfroSapiophile
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Black Twitter Tells David Oyelowo Thanks But No Thanks

You Are Part of OUR Fight for Our Representation

David Oyelowo. Few know that actor David Oyelowo is descended from Nigerian royalty (Image via Getty Images)

Black Twitter is pushing back on Hollywood Reporter’s announcement of David Oyelowo starring as Bass Reeves in a limited series deal with ViacomCBS. Copper American Indian tweeted a meme of SNL cast member Kenan Thompson saying boo and proclaimed the Bass Reeves story another movie they are not watching.

“Why can’t they tell THEIR OWN STORIES?” said one tweet. The internet backlash comes after February 2022 was deemed the most disrespectful Black History Month ever and only weeks after #securethetribe hit number one on Twitter when a Twitter space of over 30,000 people spent over seven hours discussing how immigration hurts Black Americans.

The classically trained British Nigerian actor from the UK, David Oyelowo, worked hard to break color barriers. He played the title role of “Henry VI” and was the first black actor to play an English king for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It wasn’t long before Oyelowo was one of Hollywood’s most sight after talents. Why not use that success and his production company to cast one of the thousands of Black American actors in LA?

Chris McCarthy, President, and CEO of MTV Entertainment Group called the story a monumental series. Bass Reeves was the country’s first Black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River. America’s greatest frontier hero Reeves was the inspiration behind The Lone Ranger.

Oyelowo said these are the type of stories he and his wife want to tell. Boundary-busting stories of folks seldom seen on the screen. Black Twitter asked why wouldn’t Oyelowo and his wife use their production company, Yoruba Saxon, to make stories about their own legends?

A Yoruba woman in classic tribal dress. Yoruba is the tribe to whom David Oyelowo belong. / Photo by Jason Hafso via Unsplash

Yoruba Saxon precisely depicts the type of representation of the couple. Oyelowo is a member of the African people of southwestern Nigeria and Benin, Yoruba is the spoken language and ethnic group of the Kwa. The official language of Nigeria. Saxon represents Oyelowo’s white wife. Saxon is the West Germanic language of the ancient Germanic people that inhabited parts of central and northern Germany. Anglo-Saxon is the language of Old English referring to the period of dominance in England (5th–11th centuries).

Oyelowo won NAACP Image Awards for his roles in Selma and The Butler, but Black Twitter says thanks but no thanks. Black Americans thank Oyelowo and the other British or Nigerian actors from the UK for their contributions and for joining our fight for representation on-screen and off. Foundational Black Americans want to see themselves onscreen not an immigrant or an implant.

David Oyelowo now joins our fight (he is not depicted actually fighting here). Photo by Johann Walter Bantz on Unsplash

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