Hidden Colors 2: The Triumph of Melanin- A Review

Prof. James Smalls in Hidden Colors 2
Prof. James Smalls in Hidden Colors 2

There are various approaches to teaching history available to those who wish to impart knowledge. In terms of pedagogy, it may be confined to the classroom, or take on a more visual or interactive form.

Hidden Colors 2: The Triumph of Melanin is a documentary that shows African history, weaving in commentary from scholars and thinkers with archival photos. Building on the original film, HC2 is more in-depth, and features people who were not in the original documentary. Among the notable contributors are Prof. James Smalls, international researcher and lecturer Runoko Rashidi, legal activist Michelle Alexander, and hip hop philosopher KRS-One.  The director  is Tariq Nasheed, a best selling author and host of the popular podcast ‘Mack Lessons”.

The late John Henrik Clarke once said “If you start the history of slavery with Black people,  everything since then will look like progress.” Hidden Colors 2 addresses this matter by taking the long view of African contributions to civilization. Casting aside an American centered view which necessitates beginning with New World enslavement, this documentary delves into the African presence on several continents. The focus on ancient Africa however, does not stop the film from addressing today’s issues.

Hidden Colors 2 presents information that illustrates ways in which people of African descent are in a state of warfare. Presented in an over arching manner, the film debunks myths and points out fallacies along the way. The viewer will gain the most from this documentary if they were to do further research on what many of the documentary participants state. This is a long film, and what is covered is somewhat advanced. The most glaring downside is that in the labeling of Dr. Phil Valentine, the word Metaphysician was spelled wrong.

Overall, Hidden Colors 2 is a good documentary, with a lot of great history in it. I recommend it for those who are interested in studies on the African diaspora, and those who want to see Black history in a format beyond the textbook or academic journal.

To find out more about Hidden Colors 2 and the original, visit the  Official Hidden Colors website The DVD is now available for purchase on the website.

– Marc W. Polite


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