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They say if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself, and that goes for Hollywood too. The film industry typically conveys Black History under a veil of oppression, whether the setting is a plantation in the Old South, a segregated town in the Jim Crow Era, or a ghetto in any major US city. But we know our story is much more than subjugation and systemic racism, and directors and writers like Gina Prince-Bythewood are bringing stories that depict our multi-faceted history across the Diaspora, like The Woman King, to our screens.

The Woman King was inspired by true events in the Dahomey Kingdom of West Africa (modern-day Benin) in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Viola Davis stars as Nanisca, a general of Dahomey's all-female military regiment who convinces King Ghezo (John Boyega) that they should defend themselves against European colonizers, who are lead presumably by Hero Fiennes Tiffin's Santo Ferreira. Lashana Lynch plays a veteran warrior, whereas Thuso Mbedu of The Underground Railroad takes on Nawi, an eager recruit.

Along with directing the film, Prince-Bythewood also co-wrote The Woman King with Dana Stevens (Fatherhood).

The Woman King will be released in theaters on September 16.