By EEW Magazine Entertainment Editors
Last night, if you tuned in to the History Channel to see cable’s most watched television show, “The Bible,” you may have noticed that the story of Samson was retold with a splash of color. The iconic biblical warrior and his mother are portrayed by black actors.
Nonso Anozie, with his flowing dreadlocks, plays Samson and Sharon Duncan Brewster, with her ethnic head wrap, looking every bit the African queen, plays Samson’s mother.
Christian Post writer, Ethan Cole, calls the inclusion of black actors “striking,” noting that, typically, a “fair skinned” Samson “has been seen in artwork.”
Such Hollywood classics as "The Ten Commandments" and "The Greatest Story Ever Told," unlike "The Bible," do not present a similarly diverse cast of characters.
Pastor Charles Jenkins of Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago, who got a glimpse of the series ahead of its premiere, told The Root in an interview last month, "I appreciated the diversity I saw.”
Although an overwhelming number of black cast members are not present in major roles-- Lonyo Engele is a Guardian Angel; Patrice Naiambana is Balthazar; Actor Keith David serves as the series narrator—Jenkins is, at least, glad about any inclusion at all.
“Some people could think it's too much, and some people could think it's not enough," added the five-time Stellar Award-winning leader of “Fellowship Chicago” choir known for their smash hit, “Awesome.”
"The good news is [the series creators] were mindful of it, and I have a great appreciation for that,” he said.
Others prominent leaders of color who have thrown their support behind the project include Maya Angelou, 'Touched by an Angel" star Della Reese, and Bishop T.D. Jakes.
The History channel’s five-part miniseries, “The Bible,” produced by actress Roma Downey (Touched By An Angel) and her producer husband, Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Voice, Celebrity Apprentice), premiered to a whopping 13.1 million viewers, catapulting it to the top of the entertainment pile so far for 2013.
“The Bible” airs Sundays 8/7c on the History Channel, with its finale to fall on March 31, coinciding with Easter.