Over spring break I was asked by a random stranger where I was from, I told him Rwanda and he immediately thought I meant Wakanda. I thought that was funny and then I proceeded to explain to him how Wakanda was fictional and how Rwanda is very much real. But on then I started thinking about the movie and what it means for me as an African and a black person in America. I realized the significance of the movie and how represented different black identities; with Killmonger having grown in the US and the people of Wakanda as Africans who had never left the continent. One of the most powerful moments in the movie was towards the end when Eric utters the words “bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage.” This immediately reminded me of the middle passage and what form of resistances Africans were showing even before they got to the New world. Additionally, the fact that Wakanda was never colonized presents the idea of what Africa might have become without colonization. It also challenges the idea that colonial powers did Africans a favor by colonizing them. Furthermore, the move brings together Black people all over the Global because it celebrates African culture and encourages people to learn more about said culture. For example, days after the movie came out posts on social media were trending that explained the origins of some of the attires in the movie. Different African tribes inspired all of the clothes in the movie. As a black person, this movie literally changed my life!
That movie was amazing and so was that particular scene, it made me not even view him as the “villain” anymore. He was so powerful in his declaration to be buried in the ocean with his ancestors, and speaks so much to our class.
The Black Panther made me think about what a hyphenated identity does to a person. The villain in the movie is an African-American man, a man denied from both his African ancestry and American nationality. What does this mean for Killmonger? What does this mean for all African-Americans in our country?
In Harlem, I see a clear distinction between the African immigrant community and the black American community. It ties in clearly to the concepts of assimilation or westernization on the part often of black Americans, as they’ve had many years of negotiating their sense of worth through a white standard.
Black Panther was an excellent and impactful film. One of the most amusing parts of the movie for me was when a character thinks that Wakanda has no resources to offer the world, yet they have virtually unlimited resources and some of the most powerful weapons and technology. It’s empowering and, like you said, goes against the idea that colonization is helpful.
To start, this blog post was really written well. I love how you structured your post, using a personal anecdote, then discussing a form of media in relation to it, and implying some real life applications. I haven’t seen the movie Black Panther, but I was very surprised when you mentioned that a random stranger thought you meant Wakanda when you told him you were from Rwanda. To me, that sounds like he corrected you and assumed you were saying the name of place which literally does not exist. This shows that a lot of people in the United States do not know much about cultures other than their own, and it is exciting that the movie is inspiring people to learn about different cultures.
I think this movie was extremely interesting in understanding the relationship between Africans born in Africa and African Americans. A lot of people (Black Americans) say that they would love to go to Africa. In my African Studies class we talked about how Black Americans are so removed from the actual continent itself that it would very hard to take Black Americans back to Africa.
Hello! I loved this post. Your response to the film was raw and real. I have regrettably not seen the film yet, but have every intention to. I think it is really interesting how you asked the question of what Africa would be like if it weren’t colonized. I have thought about that too. If the rest of us were the outsiders and the African American people were the colonizers, would that make the rest of the world “assimilators” or “creolizers”? Any thoughts?
I also enjoyed this movie and admired how impactful it was for Black people all over the world.
I agree. ‘Black Panther’ is amazingly groundbreaking. I’ve never realized how much I’ve needed to see Africa and people of African descent depicted in such an empowering way. I’ve seen this movie four times, in theater, since its release. This film was definitely something that not only black people needed, but the world.