But Explain Detroit… “Black Panther” Stars Believe if it weren’t for Western Colonization, Africa Would Boast Most Advanced Civilization on Earth
The King from “Black Panther” says his Marvel movie is way more than a superhero flick — it’s also going to debunk a bunch of stereotypes about Africa. In other words … school’s in!
An image from Black Panther depicting Wakanda, the most advanced civilization on earth. Doesn’t look much like post-white Baltimore, Detroit, Newark, Camden, or Jackson (MS)…
We got John Kani, who plays King T’Chaka, and asked if he thinks the highly anticipated film will ease racial tensions in America. His answer was, quite frankly, awesome.
“See the Black Panther, you’ll see we built the pyramids in Egypt,” he said.
Chaser. [Lupita Nyong’o Hopes ‘Black Panther’ Will Help Many Envision What Africa Would Look Like If It Had Never Been Colonized, Atlanta Black Star, 1-31-18]:
At the world premiere screening of the highly anticipated film “Black Panther”, Lupita Nyong’o spoke to E! News briefly about what it actually took for her to pull off the fierce role of Nakia. Lupita said to perform this role she had to be in “particularly good shape for it to do the stunts. And she “loved it.”
We are about to see black power on celluloid like never before…
The actress then expressed her take on the movie. She explains that the fictional nation Wakanda is “such an exciting world to be in. Like none other we’ve ever seen.” She goes on to say it’s like we see “what would Africa look like if it was not colonized.” Nyong’o says she hopes the audience leaves thinking about if “they can be citizens of Wakanda.”
The black actors, more than 90 percent of the cast in the movie, actually believe it’s only because of colonization by Europeans the natural evolution of Africa into an advanced civilization boasting unparalleled technology was retarded (however momentarily). They legitimately – literally – believe “royalty is in our [African] DNA.”
In post-Apartheid South Africa, where hyper-affirmative action laws (BEE) have mandated the shuttering of competent white engineers in the private/public trying to maintain infrastructure whites long ago built, rolling blackouts are the norm and Cape Town is on the verge of running out of potable water. Don’t even get us started on Ponte City Tower in Johannesburg…
Afrocentrism on steroids is the only way to describe Black Panther, when an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence (pattern recognition) actually showcases the concept of black power being the greatest EMP to western civilization – any civilization – once implemented.
#WakandaIsntReal: The Story of a White American Who Tried to Rebuild a Centuries Old Bridge in Ethiopia (Originally Built by Europeans)
PK Note: I forgot I wrote this, but it’s included in Captain America and Whiteness: The Dilemma of the Superhero, published in August of 2011. It discusses Wakanda and the Black Panther, long before the dream of a film on the African King had come to fruition.
Even though Stephen Hawking can’t find a Black ((((((Albert Einstein)))))) living in Africa; even though 98 of the 108 patents granted in all of Africa came from white people living in South Africa; even though not one invention of significant importance can be attributed to an African; even though immense resources have been mined by European, American, and Chinese companies, where the indigenous Africans can’t conceive of usages for them; even though all of the aforementioned is true, Marvel Comics decided that the nation with the most advanced technology would set in the mythical African nation of Wakanda, protected by the Black Panther.
|A bridge in Ethiopia, built by Europeans centuries ago. Africans never rebuilt the bridge, so they cross it via ropes|
Though the only Nobel Awards given to those of African descent have come in either peace or literature, Marvel expects us to believe that the most advanced technological society on earth is in Africa.
Wikipedia tells us:
Wakanda is a fictional nation in the Marvel Universe. It is the most prominent of several fictional African nations in the Marvel Universe. Wakanda is located in Northeastern Africa, although its exact location has varied throughout the nation’s publication history: some sources place Wakanda in East Africa, just north of Tanzania, while others – such as Marvel Atlas #2 – show it bordering Lake Turkana, near Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia (as well as fictional countries like Azania, Canaan and Narobia). Wakanda first appeared in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966), and was created by ((((((Stan Lee)))))) and ((((((Jack Kirby)))))). The name is evocative of the Wakamba tribe of Kenya.
Marvel would have us believe that a continent, where the overwhelmingly majority of innovation is originating from white South Africans, could produce an ancient land called Wakanda that harbors one of the most advanced civilizations in the world.
At this point it would be wise to reproduce an article from a 2002 issue of National Geographic that discusses the breadth of African innovation. That article showed a bunch of Africans standing on a dilapidated bridge built by Europeans for the famous Ethiopian Emperor Fasilides more than 300 years prior. Influenced by this picture Ken Frantz, a white Virginian who was in the construction and building industry, decided to found Bridges to Prosperity to help rebuild this collapsed European bridge in the heart of Africa; a task that Africans were incapable of doing.
Here is that article which discusses Ken’s inspiration to found the group:
Ken Frantz decided to fix an Ethiopian bridge because, he says, “I’m a boy, and boys love bridges.”Happily, this “boy” owns a construction company.
Ken, 52, was waiting for mechanics to service a truck in his hometown of Gloucester, Virginia, when he picked up the December 2000 Geographic. He saw a photo of Ethiopians being hauled on a rope across the Blue Nile- a 360-year-old bridge that had been destroyed during the Italian occupation of 1935-1941. “I looked at the photo once, twice, three times,” Ken recalls, “and it came to me: What I want to do is repair that bridge.”
Ken helped launch Bridge to Prosperity, dedicated to building bridges to help create wealth in developing nations. The group surveyed the site, won backing from tribal elders, and chose a lightweight steel design. Donkeys toted in 25,000 pounds of supplies, and Ken, his crew, and Ethiopian volunteers rebuilt the bride in ten days at a cost of $108,000, largely donated by the organization’s founders.
“Half a million people live near the bridge,” he says. “Now they can trade, get to hospitals and schools on the other side, and see family they haven’t seen for years.” Ken’s group has also built cableways in Nepal, a suspension bridge in Indonesia, and a second Ethiopian bridge.”
Why did it take a white guy in America, galvanized by a desire to help those less fortunate, to help build a rebuild a destroyed bridge? Frantz explained further:
“It was built in 1640, approximately, by a very famous emperor, Fasil. And he was just a building maniac.” Emperor Fasil’s bridge spurred a flourishing trade route. But as people chopped down trees in this area, erosion increased – and so did flooding. Increased flooding undermined the bridge.
|A white engineer in the USA helped rebuild this bridge, because Wakanda isn’t real.|
“So it was constantly being washed out. Until it got the name the Sebara Dildiy. Sebara Dildiy in Amharic means broken bridge.” In 1936, Ethiopian nationalists destroyed the Sebara Dildiy on purpose, to slow Mussolini’s invasion during World War II. Makeshift repairs using logs held the bridge together until the mid-1950s. After that, travelers and their livestock could only cross the river on a tattered rope, pulled by ten men on either side of the river. Nine years ago, Ken Frantz saw a photograph of this precarious scene in National Geographic and decided to fix the broken bridge. He assembled a team to repair Sebara Dildiy in 2002 using steel beams that were painstakingly carried down and assembled on site. But THAT bridge didn’t last. A flood destroyed it in 2006. That’s why Frantz and his team have returned to Ethiopia – to try again. This time, they’ve taken on a more ambitious project: A new, cable suspension bridge, much longer and higher off the river. But not everything would go as planned. “All right, tell everyone, higher one is coming from the inside…” Bridges to Prosperity’s director of operations Avery Bang supervised final preparations. She found a few surprises. Her group had trained a young Ethiopian engineer to oversee construction of steel and concrete anchors on opposite walls of the canyon. These would secure the cables. But the location of the anchors was different from what the plans had called for. “The excavation was supposed to be further back and deeper. What are you going to do? You have to redesign.” So the team revamped the way the cables would be cemented into the anchors. The pace of work picked up after all six cables had been hauled into place. On one side of the river, workers began winching the cables tight. The cables slowly rose in a gently drooping arch between the canyon walls. On the other side, workers sawed wooden planks for the walkway. Ken Frantz and two of his brothers nailed the planks in place. They were halfway across the span, 80 feet above the river, when calamity struck. A stone pillar that anchored one of the handrails rocked, then tipped, then tumbled down the steep hillside. Ken Frantz’s brother Forrest later recalled the tense moment. “We looked up, looked out across the river, and it’s pretty far away – it’s hard to see the details, what’s going across the river – but you could see the tower collapse. The cable dropped, hit the ground, and a cloud of dust came up. The next thing we heard was horrifying. And that was the sound of things dropping into the river. We could not see through the dust. We didn’t know what was falling into the river. We did not know if it was rocks or if it was people.”
Why didn’t the Wakandians build the bridge for them? You see, in the real world, American engineers motivated by altruism – such as Ken Frantz – build Africa’s infrastructure for them; or Chinese companies – motivated by profit, expansion and cultivating resources the African population can’t cultivate on their own – perform this task.
|White people built the bridge. It was destroyed and Africans couldn’t rebuilt it. A white guy from the USA rebuilt it. #WakandaIsntReal|
Sadly the best aviators and airplanes aren’t built in Wakanda either:
Deaths on commercial aircraft worldwide rose 15 percent last year while the overall accident rate involving Western-built jets fell to an all-time low.
Those figures were released Wednesday by the International Air Transport Association, a trade group for the world’s airlines.
The group said 786 people died in 23 separate accidents last year, up from 685 deaths in 18 fatal crashes in 2009. The figures include all kinds of jets and turboprops operated on commercial flights but don’t include private or military aircraft.
There were no fatalities involving U.S. airlines last year. The most recent fatal accident involving a U.S. airline was the February 2009 crash of a Continental Connection flight near Buffalo, N.Y., in which 50 people died.
Accident rates were lowest in the former Soviet republics and North America, followed by North Asia and Europe. Rates were higher than the world average in the Asia-Pacific region, Middle East-North Africa and Latin America-Caribbean.
The highest rate was in Africa. IATA said African airlines accounted for 2 percent of worldwide passenger traffic but 23 percent of serious accidents.
Regrettably, Wakanda (or for that any of Africa, save white South Africa) can be seen illuminated from the vantage of space. Consult these NASA images available at (http://geology.com/articles/satellite-photo-earth-at-night.shtml).
While the United States and all of Europe, with parts of Russia, Asia, Australia, and South America, can be seen to have beings of intelligence capable of producing electricity, the heart of Africa is dark from space.
Why isn’t Wakanda illuminated?
Probably because, like it’s protector the Black Panther, the nation is a figment of Marvel writer’s imaginations. Yes, the leader of Wakanda is named the Black Panther, and in the comics he routinely battles members of the KKK, radical white Afrikaners, and other assorted white supremacists and international enemies attempting to steal Wakanda’s technological secrets.
In the early 1990s, popular movie franchises like Superman (four movies starring Christopher Reeve) had already been made; two Tim Burton Batman films (starting Michael Keaton); and three hilariously bad Marvel films (1989’s Punisher starring Dolph Lundgren, 1990’s Captain America, and a Fantastic Four movie that never saw a theater or VHS release); not to mention a live-action Dick Tracy, The Shadow, and The Phantom films – all staring white guys – were on the verge of being released.
Wesley Snipes, who would portray the Black vampire Blade in three films, wanted to bring Wakanda and its protector, The Black Panther, to life. He told the St. Petersburg Times in 2010:
Snipes said in August 1993, “We have a wide-open field for comic book characters on the big screen and we’ve yet to have a major black comic book hero on the screen. Especially the Black Panther, which is such a rich, interesting life. It’s a dream come true to originate something that nobody’s ever seen before.”
As of yet, tales of Wakandian lore have yet to reach the cinema, but such an event can only be around the corner. Marvel is trying to option all of their major or minor heroes into films – to generate more and more revenue – and the tales of the Black Panther fighting for the honor of the technological advanced citizens of Wakanda will make a great addition to the stories of Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, and Captain America.
Even though Stephen Hawking can’t find a black Einstein in Africa, Marvel Comics can help draw up some historically inaccurate self-esteem for the few black readers of comics by creating Wakanda.
Posted by Stuff Black People Don’t Like
“Royalty is in our DNA” — The Black Hype for ‘Black Panther’ Represents how Blacks Privately View Themselves: As Kings and Queens
The Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, a 96% black middle school, is a goofy private school spending nearly two times per pupil as other schools in the state of Georgia.
It’s also the home of the latest viral video for the upcoming Black Panther film (one inspiring black people to take the #BlackPantherChallenge and pay for young blacks to see the oozing with black supremacism movie), where the black students learned they’d be going to it for free. [WATCH: Atlanta school surprises students with ‘Black Panther’ movie tickets in viral video, AJC, 2-2-18]:
If you ever wanted to get a glimpse of how black people privately view themselves, it’s magnified ludicrously in Black Panther.
Ron Clark Academy, a middle school located in southeast Atlanta, recently posted a video of its students dancing and chanting after learning they were headed to the theaters to see the action flick, out Feb. 16.
The school, which has 120 scholars, uploaded the clip on its Facebook page Friday with the caption, “that moment when the whole school finds out they’re going to see Marvel’s new movie, Black Panther!”
The nearly one-minute-long post quickly went viral, garnering more than 600,000 views and nearly 27,000 shares within just three hours.
Not only will the kids gather to watch the motion picture, they will also have a day of cultural classes, featuring lessons on African art, dance, music, math, science, history and spirituality.
“The beauty of African traditions are woven into a sci-fi film with tremendous opportunities to have discussions about cultural and identity,” Susan Barnes, the art teacher at the school, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Furthermore, to see a black male lead as a superhero is very powerful for our students because traditionally superheroes have been white.”
Starring Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita N’yongo and a host of others, the Ryan Coogler-directed movie follows Black Panther, or T’Challa, as he returns home to his African nation of Wakanda to reclaim his throne.
The entire staff, which is a diverse bunch from different backgrounds, is excited about the event, and they said they’re enthusiastic to “provide an opportunity for discussion and reflection that will be powerful!”
Wakanda isn’t real, but the fictional African nation represents the exact type of world Africans in America believe they’d create if it weren’t for the pernicious influence of systemic racism, implicit bias and white privilege. Black Panther is a movie playing upon blacks embarrassingly unjustified high self-esteem (“royalty is in our DNA,” and “create vivid images of black excellent”).
Watch this video of blacks celebrating the free ticket to see the movie (and how the fictional movie will be incorporated in their history and math curriculum) and notice if you can find an image of one of the lone white students at the black empowerment middle school…
Marvel’s “Thor” Was Based on Nordic Mythology, but included Africans as White Gods; “Black Panther” Created by Two Jewish Guys in 1960s, is Ultimate Black Power Myth Now
PK NOTE: For the record, the Nordic myths behind the Marvel character Thor bound a people together and formed the basis of a civilization via religion; two Jewish guys invented Wakanda in the 1960s, a black power fantasy depicting an African nation untouched by white hands that present-day black people now worship as manifestation of Afrofuturism and solving Hollywood’s “Africa Problem”
Even for an actor who has played a vampire-hunter with a guilty conscience, a Baltimore crime lord with a taste for Adam Smith, and an asset manager with a stalker, the role of the Norse deity Heimdall – guardian of the burning rainbow bridge between the world of men and the world of gods – was always going to be a bit of a challenge.
Marvel’s Thor: A mockery of European traditions, myths, and religion
But playing a god in Kenneth Branagh’s forthcoming film Thor has turned out to be the least of Idris Elba’s worries, after fans of the comic books turned on the star of The Wire for reasons that have nothing to do with his acting ability and everything to do with the colour of his skin.
When news emerged late last year that the 37-year-old black Londoner had been chosen to play Heimdall, “the whitest of the gods”, a being who can hear the sap flowing in trees and look across time and space, many devotees of the Marvel comics on which the film is based flocked to online forums to weep, gnash their teeth and unleash a tide of indignation.
A fortnight ago, the actor told Jonathan Ross that his take on Heimdall was “Norse by way of Hackney, Canning Town”. And at the beginning of the month, he told a press conference that he saw his casting as an encouraging step.
His view was not shared among the more vehement of the comic books’ fans. “This PC crap has gone too far!” wailed one. “Norse deities are not of an African ethnicity! … It’s the principle of the matter. It’s about respecting the integrity of the source material, both comics and Norse mythologies.”
Fellow fans were quick to nod their horn-helmeted heads.
“At the risk of sounding like a bigot, I think this is nuts!” said another. “Asgard is home to the Norse Gods!!! Not too many un-fair complexion types roaming the frigid waste lands up there. I wouldn’t expect to see many Brad Pitt types walking around in the [first mainstream black superhero] Black Panther’s Wakanda Palace!”
Elba, who was born in Hackney, north-east London, to a Ghanaian mother and Sierra Leonean father, has addressed such concerns in a string of recent interviews.“There has been a big debate about it: can a black man play a Nordic character?” he told TV Times. “Hang about, Thor’s mythical, right? Thor has a hammer that flies to him when he clicks his fingers. That’s OK, but the colour of my skin is wrong?
“I was cast in Thor and I’m cast as a Nordic god,” he said. “If you know anything about the Nords, they don’t look like me but there you go. I think that’s a sign of the times for the future. I think we will see multi-level casting. I think we will see that, and I think that’s good.”
Chaser. [Who’s Allowed to Wear a Black Panther Mask?, Kwame Opam, 2-13-18]:
In an interview with BuzzFeed News in the fall, Sterling K. Brown, a star of “Black Panther,” thrilled at the prospect of children, black and white, dressing up as the title character. “This Halloween, the first time I see a little kid, a white kid, dressed up as Black Panther, I’m taking a picture,” he said. “You better believe I’m taking a picture, because that’s the crossover.”
Chadwick Boseman, who plays Black Panther in the film, had already witnessed said crossover, he said in the same interview: “I’ve seen little white kids dressed up as T’Challa. I’ve seen pictures, and I’ve seen it in person.”
Wakanda: a veritable social construct, devised by two Jewish comic writers, playing upon toxic levels of black self-esteem/vanity and mentally debilitating white guilt
Black Panther costumes — whether the character’s full raiment or just his claws and mask — are on toy store shelves (and, of course, on Amazon) in anticipation of the film’s Feb. 16 release. At best, the character get-ups speak to the enthusiastic embrace of a black superhero. At worst, they could be perceived as an unwitting form of cultural appropriation, which has in recent years become a subject of freighted discourse.
What does that dual significance mean for children? And, perhaps more urgently, what does it mean for the parents who will buy the costumes for them?
“As parents, or even as the people creating costumes, we need to be very aware of what that says,” said Brigitte Vittrup, an associate professor of early childhood development and education at Texas Woman’s University. “There’s not a whole lot of black superheroes, so this is a really important thing, especially for black kids growing up.”
Many parents are split on how Black Panther’s blackness should figure into their children’s relationship to the character. Some argue that placing racial boundaries around expressions of fandom is unnecessary.
“I’m actually wondering now what it might be like for that parent who’s not of color if his kid comes home and says, ‘I want to dress up like Black Panther,’” said Katrina Jones, 39, the director of human resources at Vimeo. “When I look at it, I see no reason why a kid who’s not black can’t dress like Black Panther. Just like our kid who’s not white dresses up like Captain America. I think the beautiful thing about comics is they do transcend race in a lot of ways.”
Mary Dimacali, 29, a social media and marketing manager in Rockland County, New York, echoed that idea. She does not believe that her fiancé’s 7-year-old son, Sawyer, who is white, sees the film or its characters through the lens of race. Sawyer himself, during the interview with Ms. Dimacali, said, “sure,” when she asked if he’d like to dress up as Black Panther.
“For a white kid to be so open and judge based on the character’s story and the personality and history, I think that’s what’s important,” she said. “But on the flip side, I think it’s also great to have a black superhero you can identify and connect to.”
The character’s history is unique. Created by ((((((Stan Lee)))))) and ((((((Jack Kirby)))))) in 1966, Black Panther rules as the king of an African technological utopia known as Wakanda. Untouched by European invaders, Wakanda exists apart from the legacies of colonization and racism. Black history and black fantasy are central to the character, and the series has brought on prominent black writers including Ta-Nehisi Coates to deepen its significance over the last 50 years.
Consequently, some parents have felt pressure to hammer home Black Panther’s heroism through the lens of race.
“I’m conflicted,” said Evan Narcisse, a senior writer for the website io9. He is completing “Rise of the Black Panther,” a six-part comic series for Marvel that traces the character’s early history. He has tried to explain some of that history to his 7-year-old daughter, but without delving too deeply into complex concepts like Western imperialism, which she may struggle to grasp.
“You want that white kid to be able to think that he can dress up in a Black Panther costume, because, to that kid, there’s no difference between Captain America and Black Panther,” Mr. Narcisse, 45, said. But, he added, it also involves “trying to explain what is special about T’Challa and Wakanda without racism. And it’s like, ‘Can’t do it.’ I couldn’t do it.”
According to the ticketing site Fandango, “Black Panther” set a record among Marvel films for the most advance tickets sold in a 24-hour period. It’s projected to make a record-breaking $165 million over Presidents’ Day weekend and comparisons to last year’s “Wonder Woman” bode well for its reception and impact, particularly for black people.
I’ve been to Wakanda, and I may never recover. I am so grateful that our young people will see this film and their minds will be transformed. Congratulations #RyanCoogler —you did that! #blackpantherpremiere #blackpanther — Vanessa K. De Luca (@Vanessa_KDeLuca) Jan. 30, 2018
“White people have the privilege of not constantly being reminded of their race in the United States, where white is the majority, whereas as a black person you don’t,” Ms. Vittrup said.
She believes that parents in general, and white parents in particular, are reluctant to talk about race with young children.
When they do, they often miss the chance to talk about inequality, even though research supports the idea that children develop an awareness of race and difference at a very young age.
Ms. Vittrup was careful to add that dressing as Black Panther isn’t inherently appropriative or offensive. The character comes from an invented African country, and to wear his mask isn’t quite the same as wearing blackface. However, in a moment where even more black heroes, like Luke Cage and Black Lightning, are finding their way into the limelight, Black Panther’s relationship with the black community and its history creates an opportunity to teach nonblack children about the black experience.
“Kids are not colorblind,” she said. “There’s a lot of structural inequality in our society, and kids are noticing that. By not mentioning it, by not talking about it, we’re essentially preserving the status quo.”Continue reading the main storyAdvertisementContinue reading the main story“I’m actually wondering now what it might be like for that parent who’s not of color if his kid comes home and says, ‘I want to dress up like Black Panther,’” said Katrina Jones, 39, the director of human resources at Vimeo. “When I look at it, I see no reason why a kid who’s not black can’t dress like Black Panther. Just like our kid who’s not white dresses up like Captain America. I think the beautiful thing about comics is they do transcend race in a lot of ways.”
Norse mythology is a real, highly verifiable component of European culture and identity, spanning centuries and connecting a unique racial group to their ancestors; Wakanda is a social construct, the wish fulfillment of Africans for a superior black power civilization – in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence of black dysfunction/failure when compared to European ingenuity – only possible on film because of technology invented by white people (visual special effects), and a mythology created by two Jewish guys in the 1960s.
Hollywood must promote black self-esteem at all cost, while doing everything possible to bury any sense of pride white people might procure from seeing their past, history, and religion proudly displayed on film.
BLACK PANTHER Will Be A Hit–But Will Blacks Side With The “Villain,” Killmonger?
[See Also by Paul Kersey: Thing Is, We’re Supposed To BELIEVE This BLACK PANTHER Black Power Fantasy]
Black Panther will be a monster hit at the box office in its opening weekend [‘Black Panther’ Heading Toward Massive $170 Million-Plus Opening, by Dave McNary, Variety, February 12, 2018]. My guess is it will surpass $200 million, as black identity and Main Stream Media cheerleading are creating a formidable marketing combination [Black Panther: does the Marvel epic solve Hollywood’s Africa problem? By Steve Rose, Guardian, February 3, 2018]. But while the top-down driven marketing campaign will almost certainly make the film a financial success, many blacks may take away the wrong message. After all, the real Afrocentric hero is “villain” Erik Killmonger–not Wakandan prince Black Panther.
And which message people take away from this film is a desperately important question. After all, the MSM desperately wants this film to be a commercial success and is promoting it as a political milestone. The film already has a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes–not surprising considering the website seems to be blocking anyone with a negative review, calling it “hate speech” [Rotten Tomatoes Will Block Anyone Who Tries to Sabotage ‘Black Panther’ Fan Score: ‘We Do Not Condone Hate Speech’, by Zack Sharf, Indiewire.com, February 2, 2018].
Despite the Black Panther character being created by two Jewish guys in the 1960s, the film is pure racial triumphalism [‘Young black people can be heroes too’: the campaign to send kids to see Black Panther, by Precious Mayowa Agbabiaka, Guardian, February 9, 2018]. it is being portrayed as a representation of what Africa would be were it not for European colonization [Black Panther is for film what Barack Obama was for the presidency, by Issac Bailey, CNN, February 9, 2018]. And it will have real world consequences:
South African actor John Kani, who plays King T’Chaka, told NBC News that this movie has a deeper meaning for non-Americans and people living in Africa.
“This movie will prove to the colonialists that if they had not interfered with Africa, we’d be so far advanced, may make them believe we built those pyramids in Egypt. No alien did them,” Kani said. “The metaphor is, Africa has great potential. Africa no longer relates to the world with a bag and bone. We’re looking for interaction and trade, not aid.”…
The idea of Wakanda and the Wakandan people serve as pure inspiration. Wakanda, as a model of the growth of the natural brilliance of an African nation that was never interfered with by the outside world coming in to colonize, to strip of its resources, to change their way of life – is an African utopia.
[‘Black Panther’s’ Wakanda sheds light on black excellence, by Jarrett Hill, NBC, February 9, 2018]
The fact this fantasy is seen as “proof” is disturbing. The film is telling blacks that the problems of Africans in the West and in Africa is simply the fault of white people. And this leads us to the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger.
Killmonger (whose character is a black American Spec-Ops soldier, something rare in real life) wants to utilize the military technology of the advanced African nation to enable black revolutionaries worldwide to wage war on white supremacy. The black experience in America is presented as justification for this mission of racial vengeance:
Michael B. Jordan adds fire as Killmonger, the radical who wants to pull Wakanda out of its comfort zone and into an armed struggle. That’s a storyline Coogler underlines by setting an early scene in Oakland, Calif., birthplace of the real-life black-power group.
[‘Black Panther’ review: A new icon and pure comic-book action, By Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News, February 7, 2018]
Of course, though it is not explained in the film, the broader mythos of the comics has to explain why Wakanda not only survived European colonization but did nothing to stop it elsewhere in Africa. And there is an answer.
[T]he Wakandans made a pact with the white European colonial powers: if you don’t make war on Wakanda, Wakandans will turn a blind eye to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and European colonialism of the rest of Africa.
[Marvel Made a Black Panther Movie Partly Because Reginald Hudlin Put the ‘Black’ in Panther, by Todd Burroughs, The Root, February 7, 2018]
Talk about a bunch of Uncle Toms.
There’s a similar conflict in the film. The main dispute between Black Panther and Killmonger is over what Wakanda owes the larger black world. After all, if every problem blacks face is because of white racism, why shouldn’t Wakanda take action to stop it, given that it is vastly more powerful and advanced than the evil racist West?
It also doesn’t shy away from the fraught question being posed about what responsibility Wakanda has to the broader—white, colonial—world. Killmonger would say that what’s owed is a reckoning, a violent and necessary reshifting of power. T’Challa instead warily sees the potential benefit of peaceful outreach, of sharing ideas to heal past and current wounds. It’s complicated stuff, and not anything that Coogler offers an easy answer for. Watching these issues mulled over in a big superhero spectacular is quite something—it elevates the level of Marvel’s political discourse considerably.
[Black Panther Review: The Marvel Universe Finally Shows Us Something New, by Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair, February 6, 2018]
Indeed, as Variety notes, Killmonger is in many ways the most compelling character:
Killmonger has more than just wreaking chaos in mind. He’s motivated by a feeling of deep political injustice, plus a “This time it’s personal” sense of vengeance, and he’s convinced that raiding the Wakanda’s stockpile of Vibranium could put genuine firepower in a worldwide black uprising.
It’s a compelling idea (enough to sway a key ally played by Daniel Kaluuya), and a reminder that throughout the African diaspora, the black-white power balance remains as it is courtesy of Jim Crow practices designed to keep minorities in check: persistent segregation, broken drug laws, racially targeted policing, disproportionately high incarceration rates — all of which are identified and indicted by Coogler’s truth-to-power script. Arm the oppressed, Killmonger passionately argues, and it won’t take a century for the system that produced “The Birth of a Nation” to grant a black artist the right to tell this kind of story — not that Coogler endorses the character’s lunatic ideas.
[Film Review: ‘Black Panther,’ by Peter Debruge, February 6, 2018]
National Review, in a rather embarrassing attempt to get on board with the rest of the media, framed the film as a debate between Malcolm X (Killmonger) and the fake Martin Luther King Jr. Beltway Right caricature:
Like many a great movie villain, Killmonger is seductive but wrong, and he stands for ideas that have considerable resonance in the real world. He channels the sense, memorably popularized by Malcolm, that the natural state of black people is to be kings. Black ghettoization was purposely engineered by duplicitous white people, who at first used enslavement but later turned to subtler methods of oppression…
Killmonger, then, wants the kind of race war Charles Manson dubbed helter skelter. That a large majority of the world’s most successful black people are American rather than African escapes the notice of such African-American radicals, who dismiss America’s opportunities for blacks and instead sentimentalize Africa in the same way Killmonger does.
[Black Panther Delivers, by Kyle Smith, February 14, 2018]
Yet most blacks in America really do believe they are helpless victims and identify as black rather than American. This is why efforts by Conservatism Inc. to win even a minuscule share of the black vote has been such an embarrassing failure. Indeed, the hunger by blacks to be portrayed as “kings” who can defeat the hated whites is driving much of the appeal of this film.
A people who believe they are oppressed from cradle-to-grave will now have a movie where the villain advocates utilizing advanced technology to arm black revolutionaries to wage a war on white people worldwide. As Black Panther is a bit of an Uncle Tom, hanging out with the mostly white Avengers, Killmonger could well end up being the true hero of the film to black audiences. After all, if the only reason blacks are held down is because of “white racism,” Killmonger is right.
Of course, we could say there are other reasons why blacks have problems. But if we say that, well, that would be racist.
On His Netflix Comedy Special, Chris Rock Calls for the Shooting of White Children (So White Mothers Will Cry)
There’s not much else to say, except to rehash a harsh reality touched on a few years ago: The mask is slipping faster and faster. .
Every moment that passes, each second that ticks off of the clock, the mask gives way to an ugly truth most people never want to confront.
Like Dorian Gray’s hidden portrait, this mask has repressed a truth so vile, so macabre, few people will be able to stomach it when they see it.
It will knock them over.
Many will turn their head at the horror; but like a gruesome car crash, it’s only natural – instinctive – to want to take a look.
It’s Chris Rock’s turn to show us this image. [Everyone Will Be Talking About Chris Rock’s New Netflix Special, Esquire, 2-14-18]:
You would think cops would occasionally shoot a white kid just to make it look good. You would think that every couple of months they’d look at their dead nigga calendar and go, “Oh my god, the 16th—we gotta shoot a white kid quick.” “Which one?” “The first one you see singing Cardi B.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the mask is slipping. Chris Rock has his knives sharpened. He has just – on Netflix – called for the killing of white kids.
A lot of white people have tried to make this experiment work; but when looking at the picture of race relations in America, a disturbing hidden pictures emerges. Rock just showed it to us.