There couldn’t be more hype surrounding the release of Marvel’s “Black Panther,” and the takes are coming in hot. As Twitchy reported Friday, NBC BLK spoke to actor John Kani, who said that “This movie will prove to the colonialists that if they had not interfered with Africa, we’d be so far advanced.”

That quote, in particular, elicited a lot of responses reminding Kani that the technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda is fictional, as are its rich mines of an alien metal brought to the country by a meteor.

(For non-geeks: You know how Captain America’s indestructible shield is made from Vibranium? Wakanda is the only place to mine Vibranium, so it’s a pricey export.)

It’s a take that seems to resonate, though, and The New York Times followed suit on Friday, claiming that the emotional appeal of the movie lies in a country that has never been colonized.

One more time:

From The New York Times:

“Wakanda is a kind of black utopia in our fight against colonialism and imperial control of black land and black people by white people,” said Deirdre Hollman, a founder of the annual Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. “To the black imagination, that means everything. In a comic book, it is a reality, and through a major motion picture, it’s even more tangibly and artistically a reality that we can explore for ourselves. There’s so much power that’s drawn from the notion that there was a community, a nation that resisted colonization and infiltration and subjugation.”

Remarkably, Carl R. Perkins floated the mirror image of this take last summer in a piece published at International Policy Digest, where he described Black Panther as an “alt-right superhero.”

He writes:

Firstly, Black Panther is anti-globalist. Black Panther’s moral coda is steeped in a strong nationalistic conviction that constantly places the wellbeing of his people’s history, culture, and identity over any external attempts at opening up the culture and economy of Wakanda, the fictional African country in the Marvel universe. Wakanda is a hierarchal society that’s intentionally racially homogeneous, and its immigration policy is essentially isolationist. Other cultural influences are not permitted within Wakandan borders, as Black Panther believes them to be harmful to the wellbeing of his people.

This is in direct opposition to what the Black Lives Matter movement stands for: diversity, globalism, transgender affirmation & collective value. Instead of diversity, T’Challa ensures that the border of Wakanda is impregnable & that its population remains nearly exclusively Wakandan.

Wow, that is a hot take. So you can celebrate Wakanda for resisting colonization by whites, or you can look at it from the inside and see that it’s a rich country with impregnable borders to ensure cultural purity. Are we applauding border walls now?

Squawker has a similar (and more recent) take by Jack Kenrick:

So Wakanda is isolationist, pro-wall, anti-immigration … dang. Sounds like social justice warriors would hate this movie.

We’re ready for the hot takes to keep on coming.


SO WOKE! NBC BLK’s ‘LIT take’ on Black Panther inspired SUPER LIT (and hilarious) responses