Exasperation. Shock. Annoyance. Confusion. Disgust. Like many others, I ridiculed him. Who was this fool? Who was this black man, just another among the laundry list of many, apparently ensnared by the siren Kardashian Klan (pun most certainly intended)?
I graduated with determination and resilience, two critical characteristics that surfaced out of my experience in our current society and my Africana study courses. As I looked at the workforce for guidance I knew that my focus would be working with a community that represents me. In reality that was not the case. I was seeking jobs in environments that disconnected me from my experiences at home and my community. Although the pay was greatly livable, it was not nourishing my spirit.
In the rising rift between Trap and conscious rap, the black community is seemingly right in middle of it and made to choose a side, while the whites watch. Inevitably, both styles are going to reflect on the black community even if the rappers themselves are not black. However, I don’t believe this means we have to trade authenticity in for respectability. In a world where the music industry is owned mostly by white moguls that could care less about black bodies, and where division and beef among Blacks is highly profitable…
It is possible to build an Africa that resembles Wakanda and those of us in the diaspora who felt a great deal of pride after watching the Black Panther movie do have a very important role to play in making this a reality. In order to do so we not only have to become more engaged with Africa, but we also have to directly assist in the struggle to liberate Africa from neo-colonialism. Killmonger may be the antagonist of the film, but his vision for the collective liberation of all African people is a vision that we should be striving to turn into a reality.
The war against Black people is global and as Dr. King once said, “None of us are free until all of us are free.” Let’s make sure our sister Marielle Franco’s life and death isn’t in vain. Let’s make sure the voice and the strength of our diaspora is felt beyond Black Panther’s box office numbers. Share her story. Demand justice. End the war on black people everywhere. Say Her Name!
It was very indicative of the current relationship between Africans and African Americans. There’s so much animus or competition that I have never quite understood. Both groups use derogatory names to refer to each other. In Africa, African American culture is very big and influential in terms of how people speak and dress. But in creating “Black Panther,” Africans and African Americans came together to create art that black people around the world are proud of. But in everyday life, there is no such unity. I think it’s a vision for what can be possible when the two groups work together.
The vision of an African technologically advanced society creates a vision of what Africans winning looks like. It doesn't look like marches, it doesn't look like protest, it looks African sovereignty reinforced by technological and military power. Though many are framing Wakanda from an alternate history perspective- a history where African nations were not colonized, I challenge you to view Wakanda from an alternative future perspective. A future where we as Africans both on the Continent and in the Diaspora can build a Pan-African society likened to the one created in the Marvel Universe. Wakanda can be built.
This offends, it offends a lot. It offends because it stereotypes, falsifies and makes fun of our image. We are real people, we are not fantasy characters that can’t be found in the streets of Alcoy and the rest of Spain. We can’t allude the past to avoid changes. We are here and it hurts to see ourselves being represented as fools without personality, without depth, without humanity.