“We have been slaves...," the Selma actor says, "but we’ve been leaders, we’ve been kings."
Huffington Post reports that Selma actor David Oyelowo would like to see African stories told with a wider lens.
Oyelowo, a British-born Nigerian, told the U.K. news outlet Metro that the rich heritage of his parents' home country makes him wish stories based on Africans didn't hinge on a "white savior."
"I'm Nigerian—I'm from Africa, my parents are from Nigeria—and I just don't feel like there are enough stories out of Africa that are transcendent that aren't about dictators, or degradation, or poverty or to be perfectly frank 'a white savior' at the center of the story."
While on a panel for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last year, Oyelowo said that the lack of films celebrating Africans in anything other than subservient roles continues to perpetuate Hollywood's stereotypes.
“We have been slaves, we have been domestic servants, we have been criminals,” he said. “We have been all of those things, but we’ve been leaders, we’ve been kings, we’ve been those who changed the world. And those films, where that is the case, is so hard to get made.”