Re: Black Panther: My Take Away and Lessons for Nigeria
So, after seeing and reflecting on the movie, Black Panther, I wrote a piece with the above title, published it and asked readers to share their thoughts. Thanks to all who read and commented, this reader’s response (Kenny) was thought-provoking and I felt it would make a good read. There are so many takeaways from the movie and hopefully, all concerned will realize them and act on them. Do sit back and enjoy this piece!
Here are some of my interpretations which I hope viewers, specifically Africans will act on.
Elders in The African Content: In the African culture, there is a lot that can be said about the role of an elder. An elder is supposed to provide wisdom, lead, and cultivate the culture. Unfortunately, as Black Panther has also depicted, elders are not “know all” and unquestionable. My interpretations go further as to think that the elder’s role has been abused for many centuries hence, slowing down the progress of the African people. If we are to see the kind of future demonstrated in the Black Panther movie, the African elders must be able to work in harmony with the younger generation without the fear of disrespect or loss of ego. The two scenarios in the Black Panther movie that I can point to that focused on this are:
- Zuri (Black Panther’s Uncle); He kept the knowledge away from Black Panther and had many opportunities to set the records straight. Although, he sacrificed himself which could have been avoided if he had just been a true elder.
- Black Panther and his father during his second resurrection; Black Panther choosing to set the records straight and turn the tides. In the African culture, Black Panther’s act is an abomination but in reality, we need a lot more of this abomination to get the African continent back on the right path.
The African American (Africans in the Diaspora’s) Story: The African art (Sculpture, designs, painting, patterns…), culture, Music/Dance (Hip Hop, Rap, Jazz, Dance), Innovation and Industrialization exhibited in the Black Panther Movie is Africa’s true history not available to many. The African’s real history has been suppressed for too many centuries. Killmonger, except for his vengeful endeavors embodied every pain and reality faced by the African in the Diaspora. The scene at the art museum and his confrontation with his Auntie were the two most intense and truth-filled aspect of the movie. The Africans on the continent are destabilized by their leaders and colonial mentality and the Africans in the diaspora have no leader and a disconnected sense of self and origin.
The Nation of Wakanda: In my point of view, I’ll love to see Wakanda as Africa and not as a specific African nation. The Diversity of cultures and group of people displayed in the Movies portrays the true imagery of Africa. The Wakanda nation, as you will see in many African countries allow for free business enterprises (not capitalism in the likes of Walmart) and families lead by matriarchs. An Africa United will definitely produce a nation like Wakanda. If Africans can unite and overcome the many obstacles that will be put in place by the colonizers and the rest of the world to continue to harvest its resources.
The Power of the Woman in Africa: I’m not sure at what point in African history that the woman became suppressed. But as you read and learn more about the true history of Africa, you will realize the importance and the major role women have played. All the women in the Black Panther movie, every single role, every scene, was “on point”; I could write several pages on this matter alone. That said, it’s my belief that Africa’s progress and peace are going to require having women back in the spotlight and in the role of leadership.
African Religion(s): Before I proceed, I’ll like to start by mentioning that I intend not to offend anyone by my upcoming statements. The terms “born again”, “holy trinity”, “resurrection”, “heaven” and so on, are not new to the ancient African. Black Panther illustrated this fact in multiple scenes in the movie. It is only those that are well read in African history and conscious enough to realize the hidden knowledge that will catch the message. Africans are Godly beings but, the God(s) many Africans are worshiping today is not the African’s ancestral God.
The Importance of Animals to Africans: In case you are not aware, Africa’s last white rhino recently died, meaning that the species of rhino is no longer in existence. The Black Panther selected to use the rhino to treasure the importance of the rhino and other animals on the continent that is on the endangered list. It also tried to send the message that Trophy hunting and poaching animals are not Africa’s culture.
African form of Government: The road to the leadership role of Black Panther and King is Africa’s form of government before Islam invasion from Asia and colonization. The Black Panther’s role was to be the servant and protector of the people and not an egotistic self-centered figure. Africa will achieve a Wakanda type nation when its leader can walk in the market without the need for bodyguards and street closure. African governments through the movie can learn a few things about the importance of national development, innovation, and sacrificial leadership.
Africa an Open Door: The attempt to save Agent Ross’ live by bringing him to Wakanda says a lot about the true African spirit. But when you read history, you will quickly learn that it is the same welcoming and kind spirit that have resulted in many of their downfalls. Everywhere around the world (Indians in the Americas, Indians in Australia, Indians in Asia, Indians on the Islands) where people of brown skin have been colonized or sometimes evicted, it has all been to this factor. So, I’ll like to end with these questions; If Agent Ross is a minority when it comes to the history of foreigners coming to the rescue of Africa, what then can a majority do? Instead of stealing or taking resources from Africa, can people work together in mutual benefit?
Kindly share your answers to and thoughts about these questions as well as your other responses in the comment section below. We sure love reading your thoughts!
Thanks for reading,