By Tommy J. Curry (February 20, 2018)
It is so funny to me how all these commentaries on Black Panther are coming out without really any understanding of the MCU. Black people love pretending they are overnight specialists in anything Black.
You do understand that if you accept the existence of Wakanda, you also accept the existence of mutants like Storm, meta-humans, and the multiverse, alternative Earths where Black people would not be oppressed, time travel, & evolutionary powers unlocked by natural selection.
In that world, with the Silver Surfer and Galactus, Killmonger could in fact be right. Humanity is doomed in comics. That’s what makes super-heroes cool. Wakanda is like Themyscira in a lot of ways, so why ruin it with these narrow politics that are fueled largely by misunderstandings of nationalist and feminist gender politics.
Wakanda does not have the same understandings of men and women as the rest of the world…You can’t use Western concepts of thought to analyze a nation that literally evolved separately from the rest of civilization. Their societies are based in animal deities…the Black Panther, the white Gorilla, and I think Lions…How do you get the same concepts with these idols.
And just so you know…Wakandans are mutants…Vibranium causes mutations just like Captain America’s serum, so they do not share all of the physiological properties of “normal” humans.
A more interesting question would be why are we so keen as reading them as Black. Do you think Wakandans would really see us as the same? Why do you think so? Oh, because we have the same skin color…See this is what is funny to me…Wakanda is an example of a superior race (Wakandans) who are in Africa. They stand apart from every Black race. Notice, the movie is about how a Wakandan is raised (mistakenly) as Black, and how because he Wakandan, he was left amongst a decadent world full of violence. You are missing that this is not about Blackness, but the racialization of Wakandan’s who are debating if they are Black like we are. That’s what is powerful.
AND this points out that we have not evolved to a point in our thinking where you can see HUMANS with Black skin without imposing Blackness (our histories of racial inferiority upon them). The beauty of Wakanda is that it shows a superior humanity, technology, and world with Black skin that is not limited by race…they could be aliens who landed in Africa literally. But we are so trapped by our thinking that we can’t see that what Wakanda really is…what it represents…is so far beyond our imagination…that our thinking about it is ruining it.
Said differently, Killmonger has to be right…otherwise there would be no need for you to actually celebrate the movie. There has to be a relationship between Black skin and slavery. This is literally what he says when he dies, which is why he says his ancestors are different and would not live in cages, because in Wakanda death means something completely different. He is saying he is Black not Wakandan.