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Review Essay: Nightmare at the Museum: Problematic Representations of Africanness at the American Museum of Natural History

Thomas Free Albright


The power to define is a hazardous tool to have, and we see that this authority resides in historical texts, films, and museums. These spaces, movies, books, or museums, have the power to define what is and is not considered history. We see the act of othering Africa and people of color as an all too common occurrence in these spaces. This act of othering is not just limited to these sites of information; it is widespread in all forms of representation. In this essay I will be examining how the film Night at the Museum in conjunction with the American Museum of Natural History other Africanness. Through the examination of the film Night at the Museum and the American Museum of Natural History I will show how the othering of Africanness still persists today, and often targets a young audience through box office hits like this film.


Africanness; American museum of natural history; popular culture

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Journal on African Philosophy. ISSN: 1533-1067 (online).
Editor: Olufemi Taiwo.

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