I am a big fan of history and a big fan of comics. And while watching shark tank’s black sand comics pitch, i was shocked.
Comics is based on science fiction and fantasy, made up stories to entertain, with maybe a moral story from now to then. I read thousands of comic books, DC, Marvel, Disney, and many more i don’t even remember the publisher/brand.
Black sands comics has a different objective, as the co-founder said “there is a struggle to find content and characters that represent the black communities historical achievement before slavery… that’s why we created black sands entertainment.”
I was exited for a second, i thought, they will be focusing on the Mali empire and Mansa Mousa, the Nubian Kingdom of Kush, the Zulu kingdom, or many many other kingdoms and empires we barely hear about … But No, i was wrong.
Black Sands Comics decided simply to recolor any civilization near Africa as a black or “brown” civilization, starting from Egyptians, to Canaanites to even Spartans. This is called 100% black-washing and as bad as whitewashing. No one have an issue with creating black super heroes, but when you put it in a historical context, try to be accurate. Especially that young kids will read this nonsense and believe it is true. just do a google search and you will notice the amount of ignorance such a narrative creates.
Thus if 2 G.I. Joes want to create an entertainment company, that’s fine, but once there’s an educational agenda attached, i’ll say you are not qualified. The worst part is that from the various videos you hear them speak, you realize they are convinced with what they are saying.
As a Lebanese, a descendant of the Phoenicians and Canaanites, i find it offensive that any race or civilization try to hijack the achievements of our civilization, i am pretty sure the Egyptians would be offended as well.
The middle eastern population (levant ) is a population more or less ethnically similar to Turkey, Greece, southern Italy. North Africa was only inhabited in few small regions and cities, and these cities were either in Egypt (on the nile) or were Greek and Phoenician colonies.
Were the ancient middle easterners tanned? Yes of course, they were no blonds with blue eyes, but also they weren’t black. Egypt might have had a diverse population but you can not claim that is was in majority black.
If in doubt, look up the population phenotype of the people of the Levant and north Africa today, why would ancient inhabitant be much different ? Again if in doubt, check the mommies, the statues and the engravings (and the noses).
Unfortunately in the era of fake news, such an entertainment company would be able to embed a false historical narrative in the minds of our kids (educators love it, really?).
The Shark tank Pitch
– They pitched the investors for $500k in exchange of 5% equity in the company.
– Kevin Hart and Mark Cuban offered 500k for 30% and a deal was made.
When asked if they knew anything about animation or comics, the lady answered, we did not know anything while the husband was smiling in a very annoying way (as if he’s congratulating himself on faking it, check 3:55). So not only the couple are historically ignorant, but they also are no comic fans, thus it’s possibly just a money making business. But given that they already had 5 funded kickstarter campaigns, and in 2020 raised $1M from an equity funding campaign and now in 2022 they have 300k in the bank, i am not entirely sure it is a money making business.