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‘Black Panther’ offers a regressive, neocolonial vision of Africa

Posted by orange blossom special on Mon Mar 5 20:32:21 2018, in response to I Wanna See Black Panther Movie, posted by SLRT on Mon Mar 5 13:42:55 2018.

Amazon Post

Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name from the fictional African state of Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation in the world but which apparently prefers to hide its light under the bushel of Third World country status, it has been praised for its depiction of an Africa not defined by colonization or by its relationship with Europe. Wakanda does not pose as a backdrop for white struggles and passions. “It breaks with the spirit of derision that has always saturated Hollywood films about Africa,” gushes Brent Staples in the New York Times.

However, the truth is, the movie is little more than a marvel of marketing. Far from offering a “redemptive counter-mythology,” as Jelani Cobb writes in the New Yorker, the movie trots out many of the same destructive myths about Africans that circulate the globe. At heart, it is a movie about a divided, tribalized continent, discovered by a white man who wants nothing more than to take its mineral resources, a continent run by a wealthy, power-hungry, feuding and feudalist elite, where a nation with the most advanced tech and weapons in the world nonetheless has no thinkers to develop systems of transitioning rulership that do not involve lethal combat or coup d’etat.

This is a vision of Africa that could only spring from the neocolonial mind. It is really telling how close a black “redemptive counter-mythology” sails to the colonial vision of a childish people needing a strong guiding hand to lead them. Despite their centuries of vibranium-induced technological advancement, the Wakandans remain so remarkably unsophisticated that a “returning” American can basically stroll in and take over, just as 19th-century Europeans did to the real Africa.


The article goes on forever in the link.


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