Recently the BBC aired a TV series called “Noughts and Crosses.” It was what I call a historical “what if” based on the premise that instead of Europeans conquering and colonizing Africa, 700 years ago, Africa conquered and colonized Europe. What we know as Great Britain is now a colony called Albion which is governed by a black minority government but is still a colony of Africa. Because Africans, (known as crosses), govern, whites, (called noughts), are second class citizens in what they see as their own country; discriminated against, hounded by the police and denied equal opportunity. As a result, there are revolutionary white groups in Albion plotting the overthrow of the black minority government.
Overall, “Noughts and Crosses” wasn’t a bad series. However, it did get my mind wondering over the other changes in history had this actually had happened. Being American born, my first thought was that in this case, the Africans discovered America. This would have meant that Africans took Europeans by force and shipped them over to America to work as slaves. There is no mention of this in the story. Saying for one instant, similar historical timelines remained, this would have meant that African colonists in American would have revolted against their mother country instead of Great Britain. Once independent, would this version of the US had the North/South division over the issue of slavery and would there have been a civil war? I know this has nothing to do with the main plot of the series but it did set my mind to wondering. Here’s one for my Australian readers: If Africans landed in Australia, how would they have treated the aboriginal people? Would they have embraced them as brothers or subjugated them? Here’s another point, would there have been two world wars in the 20th Century? Quite possible but the scope of those wars would have been a lot different. This is how my weird brain works.
Reading one review of the series, I don’t normally agree with what writers in The Sun newspaper say but this one had a point. The series would have been much more effective and hard hitting had it been created thirty years ago during the Apartheid in South Africa because that is what the series was trying to reflect. Apartheid has for the most part, been consigned to history and I don’t think many young people today fully grasp the historical importance of that time. Unfortunately, while the series reflects, one had to remember that time to fully understand it because the series doesn’t put it forward.
One point where I don’t agree with the Sun critic is because the story revolves around a white man and a black woman who have fallen in love with one another, he rightfully states that in modern day Britain, a black and white couple would not be arrested for holding hands in public. But he forgets that thirty-five years ago, in South Africa, an interracial couple would have been arrested for doing such an ‘atrocious’ act. But that’s the case with The Sun. They are so obsessed with calling out the left’s obsession with racism, that they too miss the point at times.
History aside, one point from the series which I found hard to believe is that people refer to the mother country simply as Africa. This purports that the entire African continent banded together as one country and went north and conquered Europe. I can’t see this happening. What I think would have happened is that the nations of Africa would have competed with each-other for land grabs in Europe. Like in America three hundred years ago, there would have been conflicts between those nations over the land with the possibility of one or two nations establishing dominance. A likely outcome of that would have been outcries of injustice from African nations against the ones that had major colonies in Europe to give them their independence and quite possibly, Albion would have faced the objection from most of the world over its Apartheid practices the way South Africa did.
I know all of this is speculation from my insane mind but that TV series did give me a lot to think about.