Yesterday, the internet was ablaze with rumors that Beyoncé was going to be writing and starring in a new film about Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman.
Though we certainly had our doubts about the story—mostly because it just didn’t make any sense— we were surprised by the strong reaction to the rumor. We reported that a South African chief, Jean Burgess of the Ghonaqua said that Beyoncé lacked “basic human dignity” to even be worthy to tell the story.
You don’t have to be a Beyoncé fan to realize that’s a bit harsh.
Particularly when the rumors weren’t even true.
A representative for Beyoncé told Billboard,
“Beyoncé is in no way tied to this project. This is an important story that should be told however.”
For those who don’t know Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman was the South African woman who was taken from South Africa only to be paraded around Europe as a spectacle, under the name “Hottentot Venus.” It’s a tragic, inhumane story of racism, sexism, abuse and exploitation. Baartman died just five years after arriving in Europe, at the age of 26. Even in death she was exploited as her corpse was dissected and her remains, including her brain, skeleton and genitalia, were placed on display. She didn’t receive a proper burial until her remains were transported to South Africa in 2002.
Whoever get their hands on this story, we really hope they do it justice.