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.
Part of the emotional and visual appeal of "Black Panther" lies in the fact that Wakanda has never been colonized https://t.co/qARpNLDg7w
— The New York Times (@nytimes) February 9, 2018
That’s what I felt with Asgard while watching Thor https://t.co/tRpIbKfVds
— Teddy (@TeddyTruta) February 10, 2018
New York Times just some how one-upped NBC BLK. https://t.co/5Gd5aJv2PS
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) February 9, 2018
One more time:
Wakanda does not exist. https://t.co/7gShXjJ1TW
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 9, 2018
… people know wakanda isn't real, right? https://t.co/YCBO8x5v0i
— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) February 9, 2018
Looking of "Wakanda" in the history and geo books, but can't find it. Somebody ask Mr. Kurtz where it is, please. https://t.co/cRnwfp0ie6
— Mícheál Breathnach (@dkahanerules) February 10, 2018
It was invented by two white guys. https://t.co/yyOQlN0gfV
— neontaster ? (@neontaster) February 9, 2018
A fictional place invented by two white guys has emotional appeal because it wasn't colonized by whites.
You cant make this shit up. https://t.co/5dN8roeS0K
— Ben Rhodes' Echo Chamber (@dindunuffinyt) February 10, 2018
Its a movie guys. https://t.co/oCugeDmwe5
— Chad Felix Greene (@chadfelixg) February 9, 2018
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.”
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:
— Squawker Media (@Squawker_Media) February 1, 2018
So Wakanda is isolationist, pro-wall, anti-immigration … dang. Sounds like social justice warriors would hate this movie.
Now I just want this movie to be over already. https://t.co/TcyF0xFiDO
— Holden (@Holden114) February 9, 2018
We’re ready for the hot takes to keep on coming.