Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” music video is a masterpiece that goes beyond entertainment, serving as a powerful vehicle for reclaiming lost Pre-Colonial past.
Through vivid imagery and a compelling narrative, the video addresses the rich heritage of powerful black kingdoms in Africa prior to colonization, and re-establishes Ancient Egypt as Kemet, a thriving Black African Civilization.
Remember The Time is also a visual work that can be viewed as an Afrofuturist masterpiece.
Remembering the Time: Unearthing Lost Black History
At its core, “Remember the Time” is a call to remembrance, urging us to reflect on a time when Africa was home to mighty Black kingdoms that left an indelible mark on history. The video transports viewers to an opulent Egyptian court, replete with grandeur and splendour, evoking an era when Black civilizations thrived, defying the prevailing narrative of Africa as a “Dark Continent” in need of civilization.
Reclaiming Kemet: Ancient Egypt as a Black African Civilization
Central to the video’s narrative is the reclamation of Ancient Egypt, historically known as Kemet, as a Black African Civilization.
By presenting a diverse cast of Black actors and actresses in prominent roles, the video challenges conventional depictions of Egypt in popular media, which often overlooked its African heritage.
Michael Jackson also spared no expense in ensuring the video’s production value matched its grand ambition. While specific figures remain undisclosed, estimates suggest that the video’s production cost exceeded $1 million, a staggering sum at the time.
Afrofuturism finds expression in “Remember the Time” through reviving the story of Kemet and thereby reclaiming a history where Black narratives were central, dynamic, and influential.
“Remember the Time” is more than a music video; it is a testament to Michael Jackson’s visionary artistry and his commitment to celebrating lost Black History.
Through its captivating visuals and historical resonance, the “Remember the Time” video stands as a beacon of Afrofuturism, inviting us to remember, honour, and reclaim the vibrant heritage of Africa and its illustrious civilizations which flourished before the era of slavery and colonization.