Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan are trying to make a movie about the 14th century African King Mansa Musa, the richest man in history. Director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan have been making independent films together since 2013. They want to make movies that are about important black history, since black history is drastically unrepresented in media, which is why this issue is so important. “You got to tell stories in today, or in the future,” says actor Michael B. Jordan. “Or can we go back even further? There’s always one period that people want to go back to, but can we go back to … Mansa Musa, destroying economies as he traveled?” My source for this information is a website called youngempire.com made through WordPress, linked here. This is a credible site because it is just a collection of news stories and events that highlight black excellence, and it is supported by quite a few famous people. A primary source that explains the importance of a movie about Mansa Musa is this Fourteenth Century Italian Map of West Africa, found on the website linked here. This source is credible because the website is created by history professors and is regularly updated and checked for accuracy.
This map shows the importance of Mansa Musa because he was such a large part of history that he literally was a part of the map. The cartographer included Mansa Musa in this map of West Africa because of the lasting impression that he left in West Africa. Mansa Musa traveled to Mecca, accompanied by thousands of servants and supporters. He was so wealthy that he built mosques, schools, and libraries during this 4,000 mile long trip. Mansa Musa also gave out so much gold that he diminished its value and destroyed the economy. This primary source of the map relates to the issue of creating more media about important black figures in history because Mansa Musa was so important to history that he was included as part of a map of West Africa, yet not many people learn about his greatness. There are 4,524,062 blacks/African Americans in Minnesota. This issue is relevant to Minnesotans because we need our community to be represented in the media equally. I have seen firsthand how the fact that most black history is not portrayed in a positive way can affect people. One of my good African American friends has told me repeatedly how hard it is to not be able to find movies about her culture and about important black figures. Most history classes in high school only focus on “white America’s” history and past, instead of going into detail of the black history. This is not only unfair, but it diminishes students learning and understanding of the past. Overall, the issue of making a movie about Mansa Musa is important because black history is widely unrepresented in media.