Hidden Colors: Afterthoughts

Hidden Colors

Last night at the Cinema Village, I attended a  packed showing of  the new documentary Hidden Colors. This film is about the history of African cultural influence in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Directed by best selling author and host of the “Mack Lessons” podcast Tariq Nasheed, Hidden Colors deals with the often untold history of Africans all over the world. Tariq brings on some heavy-hitters for this one. In this documentary are people like Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Dr. Phil Valentine, Shahrazad Ali, and Umar Johnson. Dr. Booker T. Coleman whose presentations I have attended is also in the program along with other Africanist scholars. With a cast like this, you have to go in knowing that no punches will be pulled. Be forewarned: should you see this film, expect your assertions on many topics to be challenged.

A great deal of subject matter was covered in this documentary. From the knowledge of Ancient Egypt(Kemet) to the ancient empires of West Africa, to the Moor influence in medieval Europe, the presenters spoke on things from antiquity to the present day in 2 hours. In addition to dropping knowledge on history and contemporary topics, all of the people speaking were able to present things in a refreshing and humorous way. There was a good balance of that, as is needed in dealing with such difficult subjects. All in all, this was a good documentary, and I will be copping the DVD when it comes out. I need to brush up on my African antiquities.  Until next time! Peace!

-Marc W. Polite


  1. hotep blessing to the ancestors this documentry is one of tje best i ve seen in a long time afrikan people who really want freedom justice an liberation need to see this lets get free or die trying peace jahmel amon ra hotep

  2. Just saw it last night. It’s eye opening. I need to watch it a few more time to catch all of the knowledge the scholars dropped.

  3. Outstanding documentary. I bumped into a free showing of it on Vettle the other night – just what the doctor ordered for a weary soul.

  4. I had no ideal Mansa Musa and Montezuma are the same person. Wait, Mr. Shaheed already refuted that as false. So why did he put that bit of info into the film if it was false from the start?
    That is just one of the issues i had with this film. There is also a lot of personal opinion thrown in with the unproven facts. Its easy for someone to say “They have said this” and “It’s a know fact that” without any referance to the claim. There was also two different points where one of the scholars could not recall the referance to his claim but gave the info anyway. It’s a filmed documentary… Stop the tape, cut the scene, tell the guy to find the reference and pick it up where you left off. Not doing that says one of two things. That the info you’re giving is a fabrication, or that you honestly don’t care about the facts begind the fact.
    Which also leads me into the issue of proof. Leonardo Divinchi was arguably the greatest inventor of his time. One scholar asked the question who taught him? He followed that with they won’t tell you because ‘they’ don’t want to say a black man taught him. Well, do you have any proof? A name, a referance something?
    And to thungs that have been proven as false was one claim that the Moors brought running water to Rome in 711 AD, after it’s collapse, when the Roman Aqueducts were constructed between 310 and 315 BC.

    So between the outright lies and misinformation, the introduction of personal opinion as fact, and the lack of referances, I would urge no one to watch this movie. Albeit there are some things in the movie that do ring the bell of truth, and a few things that keep your wondering juices flowing, I don’t really see any reason to place faith in this piece prior to the talk of change toward the end.

  5. THANK YOU, WILL! I was starting to think I was the only one who could see past this bullshit of a documentary! Some of the so called “knowledge” these people spoke of was just downright fabrication and conjecture. And for them to give their own opinions as statement of fact is just wrong. Come on black people! Do some research on your own rather than accepting what someone is telling you as the end all be all of everything. That’s why our people are in the position we are in today because we are too quick to accept the easy answers whether they come from “the white man” or even worse, our own kind. And yes I am black!

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with the last 2 statements by Will and Tiah. I saw the documentary thrice and even showed it to a friend and her mom. They loved it, but I felt like too much of what was stated was fabrication. Will bought up many points I took issue with while watching. A lot of what was said was just not grounded in fact or any references. There was connections made about our history and the educational system, inner city struggles and overall issues within the community that were rightfully highlighted, but it’s unnecessary to add-on false info to our already rich history. I find it unfortunate that so many people will take what they hear in this documentary as gospel when it isn’t. And if one looks up Tariq Nasheed’s past work about “gaming” and “macking” women, frankly I’m not surprised that he’d be the one to serve this to people as honest scholarship.

  7. Thank you! I thought I was crazy. I only recently found out about Hidden Colors and I was hopeful but cautious when I started to watch. Like the posters above have noted, no sources were given. Some of the information was really thought provoking but they made no attempt to provide evidence. The makers of the documentary and the people would’ve been better served with more references, less opinions and less bending of the truth. Once I started noticing distortions of the truth, I had to question of aspects of the film. Bending the truth to serve an agenda is one of the things the participants accuse Europeans of, yet they see no hypocrisy when they do it. It s a shame because the series has potential. It’s disheartening that so many intelligent people just automatically by into this without attempting to be objective.

  8. This reminds me of seeing the theatrical version of the movie Two Days in New York, with Chris Rock: then amazed, later seeing the same movie in a censored version on dvd.

    This excises the scene with Rock’s character “Mingus” in a soliloquy, talking to a life size cardboard statue of Obama: associating Obama’s name and that of Amiri Baraka’s, so poetically this seems foreordained.

    I think existence of the Hidden Colors series, far better than their non-existence; with warts all too familiar and regular, other folk likely rationalize better than myself.

    “Too bad” is sort of anemic; though the feeling, having to stomach things at levels below what a person feels feasible.

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