As part of an exhilarating splurge of weekend birthday activities,Bigee ,Ugo and I got to watch Black Panther.Driven by curiosity primarily caused by the global solidarity (particularly amongst black people) towards the movie,we were expectant and truly weren’t disappointed.However,after sufficient scrutiny of the plot,we figured that,in stark contrast to the conformist identification with wakanda that black people are giving,we shouldn’t subscribe to Black Panther’s notion of black representation and here’s why:
Set in the fictional African continent of Wakanda,Black Panther packed the first punch with the nature of Wakanda.The community is a sealed community with evolutionary technology beyond what the world can comprehend. Wakandans are powerful, rich, creative and almost peaceful despite being a convergence of tribes.This represents a projected description of Africa in its most evolved state without white colonialism. Sealed from anti-black racism,the powerful Wakandans developed shocking indifference to black sufferings globally and nurtured a significant level of insecurity and anxiety towards globalization and internationalization by maintaining espionage as a form of foreign policy.This supposedly rich and powerful African nation heavily antagonized foreign contact in the most brutal, ultranationalist spin for a nation that has the capacity to buffer sharing costs on her resources.Why their insecurity??
An infinitely versatile metal that formed the core of their advancement and revolutionary technology.Fronting the crest of infinite possibilities made it easy to imagine away how it developed to a potent energy source and weaponry simultaneously without showing how secondary resources like metal casings,iron etc were harnessed and manufactured.That said,how did Wakanda become so rich that it could help the world when it hadn’t commercialized Vibranium?
Living in isolation meant they weren’t subject to the forces of trade and markets.How then did they get so wealthy?If they manufactured their money,it wouldn’t be valuable outside Wakanda and if they used global currencies,that would have plunged them into economic lack due to insufficient trading advantage and relative impoverishment as the Third World country they pretended to be.The logical vacuum can be filled however you wished because all that mattered was that they are rich enough to buy Apple and Microsoft,and had enough resources that can crumble global capitalist hegemonies that incarcerated black minorities in the prisons of poverty and neocolonialist slavery.That said,it seems Wakanda had other exceptionally rare traits that made her valuable: superhero nobles!.
The Black Panther is a black super hero role model for black children.Yes.He wields superhuman agility and combativeness that concretizes his responsibility to protect Wakanda from external hostilities.Yet,this amazing action figure was built on a subliminal portrayal of Africa and global responsibilities of the most evolved African hero.All superheroes had a common denominator:save the world.They had global focus and bite.The black man’s superhero had globalization instead as his villain and a central obligation to keep a precariously balanced powerful African community peaceful.This does not glorify black power.It simply points to how,even in the most evolved state possible,black people won’t be markedly different from their current selves and black-on-black conflicts are resource- motivated normatives within traditional power dynamics.It also enforces a disturbing normative: Black communities are inherently undemocratic and administrative responsibilities are largely monarchial with rich,powerful nobles willing to consolidate power at any cost and significantly influence black people’s perception of external structures…That doesn’t represent all black people and heavily ignores the often liberal processes of discourse and transition of power.
So why are people feeling empowered and liberated by Black Panther?..Tis a false dawn and here’s why?
1)It sells flawed representation of black power.It can be credited for the portrayal of black women as strong,committed,innovative(
2)It establishes Africa’s prioritization of racial segregation over racial reparation in the most divergent sway for the population’s capacity to reach out and claim idealistic positions.Black people can never avoid the global call to equalize races and black emancipation has to be uniform and ambivalent.
3)It pitches black Americans against traditional African community tenets…Black Americans are sewn as compromised due to exposure to globalism and despite suffering from the ills of racial discrimination,structural oppression of colonialism and poverty,are still antagonized.The sole black group that aimed to liberate black people globally,became the villains.This is deeply reflected today where Africans in diaspora are subjects of acrid,acerbic ridicule for their perceived dilution and very flexible moral compasses.It is hardly ideal for the most advanced African state to institutionalize this black-on-black hatred.
4)It offers a differing interpretation of black suffering and explains that black insensitivity to universal black suffering defines blackness in the most evolutionary state.It doesn’t morally differentiate black ideologies from self-serving hypernationalistic societies that abandon each other and ignore racial similarities.
5)It sells the story that black racial cohesion is a myth and even in the most peaceful,advanced,evolved state,black communities are intrinsically divided.
So for people that become too intrigued by the visuals and action sceneries,enjoy the movie for its worth.But when it comes down to identifying with the racist,xenophobic and isolationist superaffluent African community who frowns at black emancipation,then nope!No Wakanda forever!…