The point of the first 5 sections was to attempt to give the uninitiated at least a partial understanding of why the messaging in “Black Panther” is important and thought-provoking for people.
I had nothing to do with the making of this film and I have no idea what the filmmakers intended to say with what we saw in the final presentation and what was left on the cutting room floor.
However, you don’t get to determine what people get from your art. You only get to make it.
So now we’ll start discusssing the messaging in “Black Panther”:
First of all, for the people biiiiiiiiiitching about the storyline, 😀 this is not a new concept.
Black Panther is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Jack Kirby, first appearing in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966) in the Silver Age of Comic Books. Black Panther’s real name is T’Challa, king and protector of the fictional African nation called Wakanda. Along with possessing enhanced abilities achieved through ancient Wakandan rituals of drinking the heart shaped herb, T’Challa also relies on his proficiency in science, rigorous physical training, hand-to-hand combat skills, and access to wealth and advanced technology to combat his enemies.
Black Panther is the first superhero of African descent in mainstream American comics, having debuted years before early African American superheroes such as Marvel Comics’ the Falcon (1969) and Luke Cage (1972) or DC Comics’ John Stewart in the role of Green Lantern (1971). The Black Panther storyline which ran through thirteen issues of the Jungle Action series (numbers six through eighteen) is considered to be Marvel Comics’ first graphic novel. In one comic book storyline, the Black Panther mantle is handled by Kasper Cole, a multiracial New York City police officer. Beginning as an impersonator, Cole would later take on the moniker of White Tiger and become an ally to T’Challa. The role of Black Panther and leadership of Wakanda is also given to T’Challa’s sister Shuri for a time when he is left recovering from critical injuries.
So go complain to twitter.com/TheRealStanLee about whatever your bitchassed issue is. 😀
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby created “Black Panther” in 1966.
The USA didn’t even have CIVIL RIGHTS until 1964!
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88–352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) is a landmark civil rights and US labor law in the United States that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It prohibited unequal application of voter registration requirements, racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.
Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964, at the White House.
So yes, “Black Panther” was created SPECIFICALLY as an uplifting Colored (I’m not sure what year the shift from “Colored” to “black” occurred) Superhero Fantasy, just like Batman, Daredevil, Superman, Thor, Iron Man and all the rest of them are Superhero Fantasies.
As I said in billcammack.com/2018/02/20/black-panther-film-discussion-part-03-images-inspiration/, it’s entirely unfortunate when someone requires someone to “look like them” in order to feel a connection with that character.
For the people who mentally NEED THAT, however, it’s a great thing! 😀
You can imagine that in 1966, a lot of people who just got finished being told they couldn’t drink from the same water fountain as other people, attend the same schools as other people, sleep in the same hotels as other people, eat at restaurants with other people and on and on and on and on and on until 1964 wouldn’t feel much connection with and/or interest in superheroes that “looked like” the exact same people who were taking advantage of every single possible opportunity they could to disrespect them.
It’s like blacks (I think they were still Negroes at the time, before becoming Colored) who served in the USA military in World War II, which ended in 1945, and then when they came home, they were still treated like second-class citizens by chumps who hid in the USA claiming draft deferrals… You have to imagine how bitter a lot of people were about that and how disinterested they might have been in fantasy comic books that uplift the trash-talking draft-dodgers.
So yes, I think “Black Panther” was a great idea and Stan Lee & Jack Kirby deserve credit for being forward-thinking in that time in the history of the USA.
Swarthy, Tawny People
The kingdom of Wakanda is rich by accident, not by hard work, unless you count the hard work they did to figure out how to make the best uses of Vibranium.
According to the film version: marvelcinematicuniverse.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Panther_(film)
Centuries ago, as five African tribes war over a meteorite made up of the alien metal vibranium, a warrior ingests a “heart-shaped herb” affected by the metal and gains superhuman abilities. Becoming the first “Black Panther”, he unites the five tribes and forms the nation of Wakanda. As time passes, the Wakandans use the vibranium to develop highly-advanced technology while simultaneously isolating themselves from the rest of the world and posing as a third world country.
This brings up a few issues. The first obvious one is the “Colonizers” arriving in Africa and “stealing” the resources, as well as to a large degree, people.
Now, “Colonizers” only did to other civilizations what they had already done to themselves.
This map illustrates all the border changes created by murder, conquest, theft, and mixing of populations due to impregnating conquered women amongst people that “look like each other”, or at least NOW they claim to when previously they didn’t.
Colonization was merely taking their home game on the road:
Here’s what Benjamin Franklin had to say about immigration in 1751:
23. In fine, A Nation well regulated is like a Polypus; take away a Limb, its Place is soon supply’d; cut it in two, and each deficient Part shall speedily grow out of the Part remaining. Thus if you have Room and Subsistence enough, as you may by dividing, make ten Polypes out of one, you may of one make ten Nations, equally populous and powerful; rather, increase a Nation ten fold in Numbers and Strength.
And since Detachments of English from Britain sent to America, will have their Places at Home so soon supply’d and increase so largely here; why should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion f ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion.
24. Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Compexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind.
Notice how the only people considered “white” at the time were Saxons and the English? 😀
Notice how concerned Franklin was about becoming “Germanized”? 😀
Notice how concerned Franklin was about his complexion compared to Germans, Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians, Swedes, Asians, Africans, and so-called “Indians”?
So murder, theft, and screwing conquered women was not exclusive to Africa… Europeans have been doing that to each other this entire time.
Reasons To Hide
So the question brought up by the fictional concept of Wakanda is “What might Africa have become if the people would have been able to maintain control over their own resources?”
That’s a MAJOR what if, and we can’t travel back in time to test any theories.
Wakanda solves that problem by having a meteor land which is obvious to the people in that area, so they fight for control over that resource and then figure out how to use it.
That’s different from there being gold and diamonds BURIED in Africa and “Colonizers” arriving to remove it from beneath the land. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mining_industry_of_South_Africa
I don’t really have an opinion about what might have happened because I’m not African.
As we know from “The Profit”, the requirements for success are People, Product, Process.
Wakandans had the product, Vibranium, but other Africans would have had to a) know that gold and diamonds were underground on their land, b) have some use for the gold and diamonds under their land, c) create a process for mining and wealth distribution, and d) not become corrupted.
Part of what Wakandans did with their technology was develop cloaking, which prevented any “Colonizers” from attacking them. Other Africans would have had to do what the Europeans did, which is spend your money to hire mercenary troops to defend your land and/or attack other lands.
There’s no telling whether a weaponized Africa would have won wars against the would-be colonizers and sent them back where they came from empty-handed.
There’s no telling whether a weaponized Africa would have turned on itself like Europe did, fighting for borders, food, laborers, and women.
As we see in the actual movie, there’s no telling that Wakanda wouldn’t have been corrupted by a coup and suddenly changed from an isolationist nation to colonizers themselves.
Still, it’s a nice fantasy for people to consider, especially in 1966.
Instead of the narrative being “You’re broke because you have no earning potential”, it becomes “You can be somebody if you apply yourself”, as the Wakandans applied themselves towards advancement and making the most out of their Vibranium supply.
Does that mean that blacks were going to discover Vibranium in the USA? 😀 haha Nope!
It means that if you start out with something and you can work on it long enough without someone attempting to steal it from you or kill you for it, you can become who you want to be.
In 1921, Tulsa had the wealthiest black neighborhood in the country. On Sundays, women wore satin dresses and diamonds, while men wore silk shirts and gold chains. In Greenwood, writes historian James S. Hirsch, “Teachers lived in brick homes furnished with Louis XIV dining room sets, fine china, and Steinway pianos.”
They called it Black Wall Street.
“They had done everything that they were supposed to do in terms of the American dream,” says Carol Anderson, Professor of African American Studies at Emory University. “You work hard, you save your money, you go to school, you buy property. And this is what they had done under horrific conditions.”
Greenwood was strictly segregated from the rest of the city, but still it flourished. It was home to black lawyers, business owners, and doctors — including Dr. A.C. Jackson, who was considered the most skilled black surgeon in America and had a net worth of $100,000.
Dr. Jackson was killed on the night of May 31st, 1921, along with hundreds of black Tulsans. Thirty-five blocks of Greenwood were razed that night. 1,256 homes and 191 businesses were destroyed. 10,000 black people were left homeless.
By morning, Black Wall Street had been reduced to rubble.
Continued in “Black Panther” Film Discussion [Part 07: Culture Clash]…