Author Topic: BP OP - Marvel Is Rewriting Black Panther's Origin Story  (Read 3193 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: BLACK PANTHER - COMICSGATE AND ITS IMPACT
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2020, 04:03:53 am »
From the article:

Quote
Unlike most “-gate” scandals, there wasn’t one thing that kicked off Comicsgate, a name attached organically and has trended throughout 2017. Unlike its ancestor Gamergate, the demands by Comicsgate are unclear. Sure, Gamergate began when a guy got mad at his ex, but it at least pretended to aspire to something bigger in its call for “ethics in gamming journalism.” Comicsgate, meanwhile, seems to just want less diversity, both in characters and creators, in an attempt to save comics and keep the medium white, male, and familiar. That’s it.




This is exactly why dc comics is so despise by many.  

Offline Ture

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Re: BLACK PANTHER - COMICSGATE AND ITS IMPACT
« Reply #31 on: August 12, 2020, 11:28:38 am »
For some time I ignored or gave a cursory once over to articles I thought were unnecessarily deriding the Black Panther movie but now... well into the era of BP dominance, it might be fun to take a look see with my fellow BP enthusiasts.

15 reasons why Black Panther is a nationalist, xenophobic, colonial and racist movie

Black Panther was greatly hyped as a ground breaking action movie that redefined the representation of black people in Hollywood. Yet perhaps it’s time for some thorough analysis and criticism. There's a whole list of reasons why Black Panther doesn't really challenge the norms and instead amplifies prejudices and stereotypes. Even more so: its underlying message is, in many ways, quite problematic.

By Jonas Slaats

A couple of weeks after the great hype had toned down, I finally went to see Black Panther. Intrigued as I was about the grand way in which the movie was hailed as some sort of liberation theology for black people, I refused to read any reviews and let the movie speak for itself. Could it really live up to the proposed breach of ‘Hollywood whiteness’? Was it truly such a “dope-ass black movie” as anti-racist television personality Trevor Noah made it seem to be in his Daily Show? Or was it yet another bizarre twist of consumer culture that lured people into thinking this was a norm changing movie even though it actually offered an overdose of those norms?

As it turned out, the latter was the case. With every minute of movie, my sense of disbelief became greater and finally ended in the certainty that this was a nationalist, xenophobic, colonial and racist movie.

Surfing around on the net afterwards, I quickly realized I wasn’t alone. For example, an article by Kenian political cartoonist Patrick Gathara on the website of the Washington Post, offered some very relevant, thorough arguments. It described how “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.”

Gathara goes on to explain how Black Panther, with a typical Victorian slant, portrays Africans as primitive yet in harmony with
nature, not faced by the complexities of modernity; how the Wakandans technological advancement, apparently still doesn’t make them sophisticated enough to prevent a single American from overtaking the country; and how it thus eventually tells a neocolonial story about somewhat childish people who need a strong guiding hand to lead them.

As Kif Kif predominantly publishes Dutch articles,
our English articles can also be read on our English only Medium magazine.

As such, it’s painful to see how blinding a shiny neoliberal story about ‘triumphing blackness’ can be. Give people some feel-good popcorn and any critical analysis, seems to be thrown into the trashcan faster than anyone can even gobble up the Kool-Aid. So, to strengthen the case of an alternative view, I simply would like to add the following list of 15 reasons why Black Panther is rather problematic.

First, the obvious things…

1. The bluntly racist images: Not only does the movie end with African tribes fighting each other with spears, clubs and machetes but the men of the ‘strong tribe’ in Wakanda dress like monkeys and literally make oo-oo-oo sounds. Sure, the latter might perhaps be part of the original comics as well, but that doesn’t imply one is obliged to transfer the exact same imagery to the movie. If someone were to make a movie of Tintin in Africa and used the same old imagery ‘because the comic portrayed Africans in that way’, we’d all take offence and rightfully so because the images from that comic book are now considered to be racist. In a very similar manner the portrayal of M’Baku in the original Black Panther comics has also been problematic from the start.

2. The duality of ‘good blacks’ vs. ‘bad blacks’: The good guys are authentic, pristine Africans, who still live in harmony with nature. The bad guy is your typical ‘black boy from the hood’. As such, tapping deep into the typical colonial imagery of the ‘unspoiled primitive’ the ‘good’ black is the romanticized and completely idealized black. The ‘bad black’, on the other hand, is simply the contemporary and ‘real life’ black American.

3. The comparisons with the Lion King: The narrative similarities with the Lion King are painfully obvious: the king of the pristine and glorious land, is betrayed by his Uncle/Nephew, after which the new king is banished, yet he returns and with the help of his lioness(es) and warrior monkey(s), he’s saved. It only lacked a remix of the song The Circle of Life to make the message complete: Africa = savanna.

4. The crude portrayal of voodoo and its importance for the story: What makes Black Panther so strong is not his skill or his brains. (In fact, when ‘simply human’ he loses the fight quite often.) Rather, what makes him strong is some sort of voodoo trick involving plants, shamanism and a drug which makes your veins literally black as if you’re possessed by a Demon — which eventually the Black Panther is, since you can just as well ‘exorcise’ him with some counter-voodoo. And of course, the viewer won’t find any references to deeper philosophy, mythology or theology of genuine Ifá. No, the viewer only gets to see the crudest archetypical Hollywood portrayal of voodoo-as-black-magic.

Then, the somewhat more hidden stuff

5. The strange message of the futuristic element: There is no need to attack the genuine cultural phenomenon of afrofuturism at large, but what I found at least a bit bizarre from the start of the Black Panther hype was the craze for the fact that finally there was a movie about blacks who were technologically advanced. When the whole movie is about a mysterious country that pretends to be poor and outwardly projects a typical image of a third world country while underneath its surface lies some incredibly advanced technology, the eventual message simply seems to be this: “See, underneath every seemingly primitive African hides a (possible) modern Westerner!”

6. The contrasting morality of blacks and whites: All black protagonists are morally ambivalent. King T’Chaka, is a good king and father but hides his mistake, general Okoye is very loyal but because of her loyalty goes through a conflict of conscience when Killmonger takes over, the border guard W’Kabi is strong and adamant, but eventually chooses to follow Killmonger when the latter comes to power, king T’Challa has a good and wise heart but has many doubts throughout the movie. Even N’Jobu, who betrayed king T’Chaka, only did so because he was genuinely aggrieved by the plight of African Americans. The same is true for his son: he’s power hungry and aggressive yet also hides a deep love for his father and upholds a sincere wish to free ‘his people’. The only non-ambivalent characters are the two whites. Ulysses is pure evil and Everett is pure goodness. Concerning the latter, even though he’s a CIA agent, his motives are never questioned, his past is irrelevant and his dominant personality trait is one of ‘cute naive innocence’. He not only selflessly saves a life half way through the movie, but in the end also saves the world (since he stops the war planes from reaching their destination).

The only non-ambivalent characters are the two whites.

7. The seemingly subversive but eventually not so impressive flips of gender roles: In Wakanda, women are seemingly strong. But eventually there’s no question whatsoever that the men are the kings and the women (even when they’re fierce warriors or genius scientific whizz-kids) are on a constant lookout for a man who can help them. As such, general Okoye still needs the guidance of a righteous leader and princess Shuri needs someone to fly her plane. The only ones taking matters truly into their own hands (i.e. without following orders or loyalties) are men.

8. The role of vibranium (and how it’s the only thing that makes Wakanda ‘advanced’): When Wakanda is an advanced technological country, it’s not because of their inherent intelligence or their approach to society. It’s a ‘coincidence’ and has everything to do with a special resource: vibranium. (It’s also taken for granted they do not wish to share this resource with the rest of the world and that as such it will not only lead to technological advancement but also to conflict.)

9. The convoluted relation between tradition and power: In Wakanda, the traditions of old are seemingly revered as holy. But when the King loses in a fair fight, all of the sudden, anything goes. He can breach traditions and retake his power simply because he’s ‘the good guy’. So eventually there is no sanctity of tradition at all. It’s simply about power. The colonial undertone should be clear: ‘Africans are stuck in their traditions. They should abandon them, because power is what truly makes the world go round.’ This becomes amply clear in T’Challa’s relation with Killmonger. One of T’Challa’s great grievances is the fact that his father left a Wakandan kid behind in ‘the hood’ and did not try to save him from his lot (which, of course, could apparently do nothing but make him aggressive). Yet killing that same kid simply because he’s not likeable when he’s a bit older is seemingly OK — even though Killmonger won the traditional battle fair and square. Though morally completely inconsistent, it does remain very consistent with the already mentioned dichotomy of the ‘good’ (pristine African) blacks and ‘bad’ (hoody) blacks. And of course, the ‘bad’ blacks by definition want to take over the world because they hate whites — so they have to be stopped, no matter what tradition or morality dictates.

The colonial undertone should be clear: ‘Africans are stuck in their traditions. They should abandon them, because power is what truly makes the world go round.’

10. The dominance of the underlying myth of the hero: The most classical structure of probably 99% of all blockbuster Hollywood movies is the classical ‘myth of the hero’. The hero who first felt small but received support from a wise man; the hero who travels and conquers dangers; the hero who confronts his darkest fears in an epic battle for evil; the hero who not only saves himself but also the world. Although it’s a universal story, in modern Western culture it’s so dominant that it seemingly became the only way to tell an exciting story. Just compare, for example, Disney hits with, for example, some Japanese anime hits from studio Gibli. The latter are full of more Buddhist themes and as such often stray from the typical myth of the hero pattern. In various African cultures as well, other mythical patterns and archetypes can be found in the traditional storytelling. However, Black Panther is, from start to finish, the purest form of the hero myth. Even the previous Avenger movies such as The Winter Soldier and Civil War breached the pattern more (having the superheroes fighting each other). Yet in Black Panther there’s no single cultural change or breach of this subconscious hero pattern. As a result, there’s also no trace whatsoever of philosophical concepts like Ubuntu or the morality underlying the well-known South-African truth-commissions. There is only one simple plot: a dualism of good vs. evil and a hero who saves the day because he fights bravely and eventually crushes evil in an antagonistic fight.

11. The Westernization of Wakanda as a result of the hero myth: Eventually the journey of the hero leads to Wakanda becoming a ‘modern state’ like Western states. After the fights have been settled and all is said and done, Wakanda becomes more open (read: less protectionist and thus more neoliberal). It also portrays a tendency to go and ‘save others’ through outreach programs. All in all then, the whole ‘technological advancement’ of Wakanda was nothing but a shallow layer. Eventually the story is still about a ‘not so modern’ country that needs to be ‘modernized’ by a King more in contact with the West.

And finally, the most disconcerting xenophobic and nationalist issues

12. The supremacy of nationalism: Just like any other successful blockbuster, the cinematic tension isn’t simply built on the action and special effects, but also on a couple of moral dilemmas which define the relationships between the protagonists and ignite the dynamics of the story. The first moral dilemma in Black Panther, which surfaces in various forms, is between love for a person and love for a nation. One example is how T’Challa and Nakia apparently can’t marry because of T’Challa’s loyalty to his kingdom and Nakia’s wish to help those outside the country. They only find a solution in T’Challa giving state subsidies to Nakia’s work. A second and even more explicit example is played out between Okoye and W’Kabi. Which of the two types of love should be held high is made most obvious when they confront each other in battle: “You would kill me my love?” W’Kabi asks. Okoye unflinchingly answers: “For Wakanda? Without question.” Hence, nationalism is the main ideology of Wakandans. The nation state is supreme and should receive the highest love of its citizens. Even though the concept of nation states is a product of modern, Western culture, the question is never asked what a traditional Wakandan view of society might be. Nationalist ideals are taken for granted and they’re only threatened when Wakandans fall in love or when they ‘relapse’ into tribalism.

13. The antagonism of state and race: The second moral dilemma which surfaces throughout the movie is between ‘loyalty to the state’ and ‘being the leader of ‘the cause’ — the cause being ‘the effort to save other blacks’. In short: a dilemma between state and race. Apparently Wakanda doesn’t have any other cultural or traditional approach to these matters. The elite of the country hold very similar ideas as white nationalist elites which have a long history of societal dilemmas between ‘protecting their country’ and ‘protecting mankind from barbarians/primitive races/terrorists/…’

The nation state is supreme and should receive the highest love of its citizens. Even though the concept of nation states is a product of modern, Western culture, the question is never asked what a traditional Wakandan view of society might be. Nationalist ideals are taken for granted and they’re only threatened when Wakandans fall in love or when they ‘relapse’ into tribalism.

14. The projection of typical white xenophobic fears: Following from the two previous moral dilemmas, the typical xenophobia of Western whites has been fully projected onto blacks. The Wakandan elites don’t want to open the borders of their country for refugees because they want to preserve the ‘purity’ of their pristine country and culture. It even instituted Frontex and USBP style border patrols. There actually aren’t many blockbuster movies where such a contemporary form of xenophobia (rampant in Europe and the US) is so explicitly, consistently and straightforwardly portrayed. Yet once it does take center stage and becomes a central part of the critique within an action movie aimed at a broad public, apparently it’s something black people are culpable of. (Also interesting in this respect: in all their fear to preserve their ‘pristine’ Wakandan nature and culture, apparently their technological advancements are of no concern whatsoever. For some magical reason, their technology simply doesn’t seem to have any impact on their nature or culture. I guess vibranium is by definition ‘clean vibranium’ — just like Tump’s mythical concept of ‘clean coal’.)

15. The blackwashed white savior complex: When a solution for the dilemmas of ‘personal relations’ vs. ‘state loyalty’ and ‘race’ vs. ‘state’ is eventually found, that solution exists in ‘outreach’. Why not truly open Wakanda, bring in all the refugees and show that another society is possible? Why not start sharing knowledge and technology with other African countries to make them economically stronger and thus break the true strength of the former colonialists and current neocolonialists? No, the only option is to act exactly like the (neo)colonizer: take pity with a group of downtrodden people in a faraway country, collect some money ‘for the poor’ and then missionize, patronize and civilize. As such, the outreach programs are also by definition oriented on blacks who are in need of help (the ‘bad blacks from the hood’ who need to be turned into ‘good blacks’), even though Wakanda could just as well start outreach programs among whites, for example, to decolonize their minds.

So, to conclude
Sure, representation in Hollywood matters. Sure, we need more black heroes. Sure, we need more strong female characters. But in the end, Black Panther is nothing but a racist, colonial, xenophobic movie. It’s a distinctly Western technology worshipping myth of the hero. It’s blackwashed white nationalism.

So now the hype has gone, perhaps it’s time for some thorough analysis and criticism. No, we shouldn’t applaud this type of movie because it has some cool black women warriors and a shiny afrofuturist Panther King. Quite the contrary, we should strongly resist such neoliberal efforts to commodify, commercialize and privatize the anti-racist struggle.


https://kifkif.be/cnt/artikel/15-reasons-why-black-panther-nationalist-xenophobic-colonial-and-racist-movie-6036




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« Last Edit: August 12, 2020, 11:48:15 am by Ture »
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Offline Ezyo

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Ooooof.. that's.. a BIG ooof. I couldn't even get through that list it was so cringey and the story went over their head... Hard

Offline BlindWedjat

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Why am I not surprised that is from a Dutch website lol.

Offline Emperorjones

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With comics, along with other pop culture entertainment these days, I feel caught between two extremes. I'm not a fan of the  idea that entertainment should not be 'political' and that diversity automatically is bad, 'forced', or is "SJW", though on the other hand, I'm not a fan of some of the political and social agendas I do feel are being put into entertainment today. The Star Wars sequel trilogy is a great illustration of these extremes for me. Star Trek: Picard is another. As has Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther. I feel that both extremes are shackling or erasing black characters, and by proxy, black audiences. We are caught up in a white pop culture civil war/culture civil war.

Offline Ture

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I remember hearing comments like this before the movie even came out. I even attended an after movie discussion at which the confusion to express one's opinion on how exploitative the Marvel company was in producing the Black Panther that it bordered on insanity. Fortunately for every one of those there were literally thousands singing its praises and millions that were uplifted.

This also reminds me of some of the flack Beyonce is getting from certain quarters on her visual album Black is King. At times there appears to be some anti Afrakan sentiment behind those kinds of criticisms.

I feel you on being caught between the extremes Emperorjones.
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Offline Vic Vega

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Look I lived thru the 80's and pretty much every film back then didn't hide its pro imperialistic message.

Just look at Stallone's body of work. Hell even the Star Wars prequels were supposed to be an anti Bush allegory, but peeps were so unhappy with the movies that they didn't care what Lucas was trying to say about the Bush Administration they were just wondering what he was trying to say about the Jedi ( which is par for the course).

All movies ( and all art period ) are political but it's only an issue when the viewer doesn't like the message.

Anyone remember hom much mileage Marvel and DC got our of their very special "Drugs are Bad" issues back in the day?

Everyone does message stuff.

For anyone claiming Black Panther's message is somehow problematic while ignoring that the Iron Man and Batman films posit that it would be best to allow the driven rich guys run everything is simply hypocritical. And racist on its face, imo.


Offline Battle

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>>> Vic Vega





Well said.

Offline Emperorjones

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I remember hearing comments like this before the movie even came out. I even attended an after movie discussion at which the confusion to express one's opinion on how exploitative the Marvel company was in producing the Black Panther that it bordered on insanity. Fortunately for every one of those there were literally thousands singing its praises and millions that were uplifted.

This also reminds me of some of the flack Beyonce is getting from certain quarters on her visual album Black is King. At times there appears to be some anti Afrakan sentiment behind those kinds of criticisms.

I feel you on being caught between the extremes Emperorjones.


I'm glad you mentioned Black Is King. I saw it. I thought it was okay, not her strongest music, but sounded good enough for the film. It had some amazing visuals though I thought it needed more dialogue and better developed characters. I was curious to see what continental Africans thought about it because that's where I've seen some of the flak coming from, or I assume is coming from the continent. The claim that Beyonce is stereotyping Africa, that she isn't really depicting Africa as it is today and is going for more of a magical, mystical, and Wakandization of Africa.

Unfortunately I don't have enough knowledge or understanding of the continent to really grasp the all the things I'm sure Beyonce had in that film and I can't really say that the detractors are wrong. I don't know. I can say that I do think that the idea of overplaying the hood or leaning on black stereotypes in American rap videos is not uncommon so I can imagine there is some validity in what the detractors are saying.

That being said, I also see on social media a kind of disdain from far too many non-black Americans toward black Americans. Some claim that black Americans are solely at fault but aren't seeing how their how words and behavior create divides or add to the divides. I don't think Beyonce was intending to insult continental Africans or disparage Africa with Black Is King. I think she was seeking to reconnect, to try to depict Africa and its peoples, our peoples, as beautiful and wondrous. Perhaps she leaned too much into shantytowns and stuff like that, but I'm not sure. I would like some enlightenment on this.

I was wondering if some of the same folks would have the same smoke if say Taylor Swift had done Black Is King, and Swift did get some pushback for her video that took place in Africa, so there is that, though I can't say it's as much as Beyonce is getting for Black Is King, but I didn't look that deeply into it either. My suspicion still is that continental Africans, like many black people around the world, are much more accepting of how white people portray them than they are when fellow blacks get the opportunity to do so.

The other side of it is that Beyonce might have gotten it for not acknowledging Africa or blacks around the world either if she had say done Black Is King and focused on black Americans in Africa or black Americans period.

« Last Edit: August 18, 2020, 05:46:34 am by Emperorjones »

Offline supreme illuminati

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Look I lived thru the 80's and pretty much every film back then didn't hide its pro imperialistic message.

Just look at Stallone's body of work. Hell even the Star Wars prequels were supposed to be an anti Bush allegory, but peeps were so unhappy with the movies that they didn't care what Lucas was trying to say about the Bush Administration they were just wondering what he was trying to say about the Jedi ( which is par for the course).

All movies ( and all art period ) are political but it's only an issue when the viewer doesn't like the message.

Anyone remember hom much mileage Marvel and DC got our of their very special "Drugs are Bad" issues back in the day?

Everyone does message stuff.

For anyone claiming Black Panther's message is somehow problematic while ignoring that the Iron Man and Batman films posit that it would be best to allow the driven rich guys run everything is simply hypocritical. And racist on its face, imo.



I was born in 1970. The messages were even more blatant in that era than in the '80's. I entirely concur with Vic. Btw, whassup, man? Haven't seen you in a minnit. Where you been?
For some time I ignored or gave a cursory once over to articles I thought were unnecessarily deriding the Black Panther movie but now... well into the era of BP dominance, it might be fun to take a look see with my fellow BP enthusiasts.

15 reasons why Black Panther is a nationalist, xenophobic, colonial and racist movie

Black Panther was greatly hyped as a ground breaking action movie that redefined the representation of black people in Hollywood. Yet perhaps it’s time for some thorough analysis and criticism. There's a whole list of reasons why Black Panther doesn't really challenge the norms and instead amplifies prejudices and stereotypes. Even more so: its underlying message is, in many ways, quite problematic.

By Jonas Slaats

A couple of weeks after the great hype had toned down, I finally went to see Black Panther. Intrigued as I was about the grand way in which the movie was hailed as some sort of liberation theology for black people, I refused to read any reviews and let the movie speak for itself. Could it really live up to the proposed breach of ‘Hollywood whiteness’? Was it truly such a “dope-ass black movie” as anti-racist television personality Trevor Noah made it seem to be in his Daily Show? Or was it yet another bizarre twist of consumer culture that lured people into thinking this was a norm changing movie even though it actually offered an overdose of those norms?

As it turned out, the latter was the case. With every minute of movie, my sense of disbelief became greater and finally ended in the certainty that this was a nationalist, xenophobic, colonial and racist movie.

Surfing around on the net afterwards, I quickly realized I wasn’t alone. For example, an article by Kenian political cartoonist Patrick Gathara on the website of the Washington Post, offered some very relevant, thorough arguments. It described how “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.”

Gathara goes on to explain how Black Panther, with a typical Victorian slant, portrays Africans as primitive yet in harmony with
nature, not faced by the complexities of modernity; how the Wakandans technological advancement, apparently still doesn’t make them sophisticated enough to prevent a single American from overtaking the country; and how it thus eventually tells a neocolonial story about somewhat childish people who need a strong guiding hand to lead them.

As Kif Kif predominantly publishes Dutch articles,
our English articles can also be read on our English only Medium magazine.

As such, it’s painful to see how blinding a shiny neoliberal story about ‘triumphing blackness’ can be. Give people some feel-good popcorn and any critical analysis, seems to be thrown into the trashcan faster than anyone can even gobble up the Kool-Aid. So, to strengthen the case of an alternative view, I simply would like to add the following list of 15 reasons why Black Panther is rather problematic.

First, the obvious things…

1. The bluntly racist images: Not only does the movie end with African tribes fighting each other with spears, clubs and machetes but the men of the ‘strong tribe’ in Wakanda dress like monkeys and literally make oo-oo-oo sounds. Sure, the latter might perhaps be part of the original comics as well, but that doesn’t imply one is obliged to transfer the exact same imagery to the movie. If someone were to make a movie of Tintin in Africa and used the same old imagery ‘because the comic portrayed Africans in that way’, we’d all take offence and rightfully so because the images from that comic book are now considered to be racist. In a very similar manner the portrayal of M’Baku in the original Black Panther comics has also been problematic from the start.

2. The duality of ‘good blacks’ vs. ‘bad blacks’: The good guys are authentic, pristine Africans, who still live in harmony with nature. The bad guy is your typical ‘black boy from the hood’. As such, tapping deep into the typical colonial imagery of the ‘unspoiled primitive’ the ‘good’ black is the romanticized and completely idealized black. The ‘bad black’, on the other hand, is simply the contemporary and ‘real life’ black American.

3. The comparisons with the Lion King: The narrative similarities with the Lion King are painfully obvious: the king of the pristine and glorious land, is betrayed by his Uncle/Nephew, after which the new king is banished, yet he returns and with the help of his lioness(es) and warrior monkey(s), he’s saved. It only lacked a remix of the song The Circle of Life to make the message complete: Africa = savanna.

4. The crude portrayal of voodoo and its importance for the story: What makes Black Panther so strong is not his skill or his brains. (In fact, when ‘simply human’ he loses the fight quite often.) Rather, what makes him strong is some sort of voodoo trick involving plants, shamanism and a drug which makes your veins literally black as if you’re possessed by a Demon — which eventually the Black Panther is, since you can just as well ‘exorcise’ him with some counter-voodoo. And of course, the viewer won’t find any references to deeper philosophy, mythology or theology of genuine Ifá. No, the viewer only gets to see the crudest archetypical Hollywood portrayal of voodoo-as-black-magic.

Then, the somewhat more hidden stuff

5. The strange message of the futuristic element: There is no need to attack the genuine cultural phenomenon of afrofuturism at large, but what I found at least a bit bizarre from the start of the Black Panther hype was the craze for the fact that finally there was a movie about blacks who were technologically advanced. When the whole movie is about a mysterious country that pretends to be poor and outwardly projects a typical image of a third world country while underneath its surface lies some incredibly advanced technology, the eventual message simply seems to be this: “See, underneath every seemingly primitive African hides a (possible) modern Westerner!”

6. The contrasting morality of blacks and whites: All black protagonists are morally ambivalent. King T’Chaka, is a good king and father but hides his mistake, general Okoye is very loyal but because of her loyalty goes through a conflict of conscience when Killmonger takes over, the border guard W’Kabi is strong and adamant, but eventually chooses to follow Killmonger when the latter comes to power, king T’Challa has a good and wise heart but has many doubts throughout the movie. Even N’Jobu, who betrayed king T’Chaka, only did so because he was genuinely aggrieved by the plight of African Americans. The same is true for his son: he’s power hungry and aggressive yet also hides a deep love for his father and upholds a sincere wish to free ‘his people’. The only non-ambivalent characters are the two whites. Ulysses is pure evil and Everett is pure goodness. Concerning the latter, even though he’s a CIA agent, his motives are never questioned, his past is irrelevant and his dominant personality trait is one of ‘cute naive innocence’. He not only selflessly saves a life half way through the movie, but in the end also saves the world (since he stops the war planes from reaching their destination).

The only non-ambivalent characters are the two whites.

7. The seemingly subversive but eventually not so impressive flips of gender roles: In Wakanda, women are seemingly strong. But eventually there’s no question whatsoever that the men are the kings and the women (even when they’re fierce warriors or genius scientific whizz-kids) are on a constant lookout for a man who can help them. As such, general Okoye still needs the guidance of a righteous leader and princess Shuri needs someone to fly her plane. The only ones taking matters truly into their own hands (i.e. without following orders or loyalties) are men.

8. The role of vibranium (and how it’s the only thing that makes Wakanda ‘advanced’): When Wakanda is an advanced technological country, it’s not because of their inherent intelligence or their approach to society. It’s a ‘coincidence’ and has everything to do with a special resource: vibranium. (It’s also taken for granted they do not wish to share this resource with the rest of the world and that as such it will not only lead to technological advancement but also to conflict.)

9. The convoluted relation between tradition and power: In Wakanda, the traditions of old are seemingly revered as holy. But when the King loses in a fair fight, all of the sudden, anything goes. He can breach traditions and retake his power simply because he’s ‘the good guy’. So eventually there is no sanctity of tradition at all. It’s simply about power. The colonial undertone should be clear: ‘Africans are stuck in their traditions. They should abandon them, because power is what truly makes the world go round.’ This becomes amply clear in T’Challa’s relation with Killmonger. One of T’Challa’s great grievances is the fact that his father left a Wakandan kid behind in ‘the hood’ and did not try to save him from his lot (which, of course, could apparently do nothing but make him aggressive). Yet killing that same kid simply because he’s not likeable when he’s a bit older is seemingly OK — even though Killmonger won the traditional battle fair and square. Though morally completely inconsistent, it does remain very consistent with the already mentioned dichotomy of the ‘good’ (pristine African) blacks and ‘bad’ (hoody) blacks. And of course, the ‘bad’ blacks by definition want to take over the world because they hate whites — so they have to be stopped, no matter what tradition or morality dictates.

The colonial undertone should be clear: ‘Africans are stuck in their traditions. They should abandon them, because power is what truly makes the world go round.’

10. The dominance of the underlying myth of the hero: The most classical structure of probably 99% of all blockbuster Hollywood movies is the classical ‘myth of the hero’. The hero who first felt small but received support from a wise man; the hero who travels and conquers dangers; the hero who confronts his darkest fears in an epic battle for evil; the hero who not only saves himself but also the world. Although it’s a universal story, in modern Western culture it’s so dominant that it seemingly became the only way to tell an exciting story. Just compare, for example, Disney hits with, for example, some Japanese anime hits from studio Gibli. The latter are full of more Buddhist themes and as such often stray from the typical myth of the hero pattern. In various African cultures as well, other mythical patterns and archetypes can be found in the traditional storytelling. However, Black Panther is, from start to finish, the purest form of the hero myth. Even the previous Avenger movies such as The Winter Soldier and Civil War breached the pattern more (having the superheroes fighting each other). Yet in Black Panther there’s no single cultural change or breach of this subconscious hero pattern. As a result, there’s also no trace whatsoever of philosophical concepts like Ubuntu or the morality underlying the well-known South-African truth-commissions. There is only one simple plot: a dualism of good vs. evil and a hero who saves the day because he fights bravely and eventually crushes evil in an antagonistic fight.

11. The Westernization of Wakanda as a result of the hero myth: Eventually the journey of the hero leads to Wakanda becoming a ‘modern state’ like Western states. After the fights have been settled and all is said and done, Wakanda becomes more open (read: less protectionist and thus more neoliberal). It also portrays a tendency to go and ‘save others’ through outreach programs. All in all then, the whole ‘technological advancement’ of Wakanda was nothing but a shallow layer. Eventually the story is still about a ‘not so modern’ country that needs to be ‘modernized’ by a King more in contact with the West.

And finally, the most disconcerting xenophobic and nationalist issues

12. The supremacy of nationalism: Just like any other successful blockbuster, the cinematic tension isn’t simply built on the action and special effects, but also on a couple of moral dilemmas which define the relationships between the protagonists and ignite the dynamics of the story. The first moral dilemma in Black Panther, which surfaces in various forms, is between love for a person and love for a nation. One example is how T’Challa and Nakia apparently can’t marry because of T’Challa’s loyalty to his kingdom and Nakia’s wish to help those outside the country. They only find a solution in T’Challa giving state subsidies to Nakia’s work. A second and even more explicit example is played out between Okoye and W’Kabi. Which of the two types of love should be held high is made most obvious when they confront each other in battle: “You would kill me my love?” W’Kabi asks. Okoye unflinchingly answers: “For Wakanda? Without question.” Hence, nationalism is the main ideology of Wakandans. The nation state is supreme and should receive the highest love of its citizens. Even though the concept of nation states is a product of modern, Western culture, the question is never asked what a traditional Wakandan view of society might be. Nationalist ideals are taken for granted and they’re only threatened when Wakandans fall in love or when they ‘relapse’ into tribalism.

13. The antagonism of state and race: The second moral dilemma which surfaces throughout the movie is between ‘loyalty to the state’ and ‘being the leader of ‘the cause’ — the cause being ‘the effort to save other blacks’. In short: a dilemma between state and race. Apparently Wakanda doesn’t have any other cultural or traditional approach to these matters. The elite of the country hold very similar ideas as white nationalist elites which have a long history of societal dilemmas between ‘protecting their country’ and ‘protecting mankind from barbarians/primitive races/terrorists/…’

The nation state is supreme and should receive the highest love of its citizens. Even though the concept of nation states is a product of modern, Western culture, the question is never asked what a traditional Wakandan view of society might be. Nationalist ideals are taken for granted and they’re only threatened when Wakandans fall in love or when they ‘relapse’ into tribalism.

14. The projection of typical white xenophobic fears: Following from the two previous moral dilemmas, the typical xenophobia of Western whites has been fully projected onto blacks. The Wakandan elites don’t want to open the borders of their country for refugees because they want to preserve the ‘purity’ of their pristine country and culture. It even instituted Frontex and USBP style border patrols. There actually aren’t many blockbuster movies where such a contemporary form of xenophobia (rampant in Europe and the US) is so explicitly, consistently and straightforwardly portrayed. Yet once it does take center stage and becomes a central part of the critique within an action movie aimed at a broad public, apparently it’s something black people are culpable of. (Also interesting in this respect: in all their fear to preserve their ‘pristine’ Wakandan nature and culture, apparently their technological advancements are of no concern whatsoever. For some magical reason, their technology simply doesn’t seem to have any impact on their nature or culture. I guess vibranium is by definition ‘clean vibranium’ — just like Tump’s mythical concept of ‘clean coal’.)

15. The blackwashed white savior complex: When a solution for the dilemmas of ‘personal relations’ vs. ‘state loyalty’ and ‘race’ vs. ‘state’ is eventually found, that solution exists in ‘outreach’. Why not truly open Wakanda, bring in all the refugees and show that another society is possible? Why not start sharing knowledge and technology with other African countries to make them economically stronger and thus break the true strength of the former colonialists and current neocolonialists? No, the only option is to act exactly like the (neo)colonizer: take pity with a group of downtrodden people in a faraway country, collect some money ‘for the poor’ and then missionize, patronize and civilize. As such, the outreach programs are also by definition oriented on blacks who are in need of help (the ‘bad blacks from the hood’ who need to be turned into ‘good blacks’), even though Wakanda could just as well start outreach programs among whites, for example, to decolonize their minds.

So, to conclude
Sure, representation in Hollywood matters. Sure, we need more black heroes. Sure, we need more strong female characters. But in the end, Black Panther is nothing but a racist, colonial, xenophobic movie. It’s a distinctly Western technology worshipping myth of the hero. It’s blackwashed white nationalism.

So now the hype has gone, perhaps it’s time for some thorough analysis and criticism. No, we shouldn’t applaud this type of movie because it has some cool black women warriors and a shiny afrofuturist Panther King. Quite the contrary, we should strongly resist such neoliberal efforts to commodify, commercialize and privatize the anti-racist struggle.


https://kifkif.be/cnt/artikel/15-reasons-why-black-panther-nationalist-xenophobic-colonial-and-racist-movie-6036




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Brother Ture, I too did very much what you did. Scan the article, see the BP diss, stop scanning the article and do something else.

Had I seen this article? I might. Might. Maaayyybeee. Have been encouraged to write a 15 Point counterargument and send it to his paper or whatever, because this fool...descendant of Dutch colonizers...completely missed the point. And so did all the other fools who empathize with or concur with him.
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Offline Ezyo

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The minute they compared BP to the Lion King is when I was done. Like I said in my previous post, it was a big ooof over the writers head and especially with that point (because really the only thing it has in common with Lion King is that it takes place in Africa and a royal family) because it's just as ignorant ad all the other clueless people out there trying to compare it based on nothing except "iTs aFriCa ItS alL tHE sAmE"

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Black Panther’ Surges On Amazon And Apple Charts In Wake Of Chadwick Boseman Death
By Bruce Haring August 30, 2020, 3:04 PM EDT



Renewed interest in 2018’s Black Panther has emerged in the wake of the death of film star Chadwick Boseman on Friday.

The film is now in the top five most popular films on Apple and Amazon charts. The film is also being shown on TBS and ABC tonight, and is streaming on Disney+.

Black Panther is at No. 3 on Amazon’s best-selling movies list on Sunday morning, trailing only the new Bill & Ted Face the Music.

On Apple, Black Panther is No. 4 on the best-seller list, just behind another Chadwick Boseman film, 2013’s 42, the story of baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson. No. 1 Was Bill and Ted Face The Music and No. 2 was The King of Staten Island.

Black Panther, which joined Disney+ in the spring, is now in the service’s top carousel window. It carries the message, “In remembrance of Chadwick Boseman.”

Fellow Disney property ABC will broadcast a primetime Black Panther tonight at 8 PM ET/PT. After the film, an ABC News special titled Chadwick Boseman — A Tribute for a King follows, documeting the actor’s life and career.

TBS airs Black Panther tonight for the second night at 8 PM ET/PT.
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Why Chadwick Boseman’s fight for African accents in ‘Black Panther’ was so important

Opinion by Karen Attiah Global Opinions editor

In an emotional tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman, who passed away on Friday at the age of 43, director Ryan Coogler revealed the moment that he knew he wanted to make “Black Panther.” It was while watching Boseman act in an unfinished cut of “Captain America: Civil War” — speaking his lines in Xhosa with South African actor John Kani.

“Chad and John began conversing in a language I had never heard before,” Coogler said. “It sounded familiar, full of the same clicks and smacks that young black children would make in the States. The same clicks that we would often be chided for being disrespectful or improper. But, it had a musicality to it that felt ancient, powerful, and African.”



Boseman’s commitment to speaking Xhosa on camera was one of the reasons Coogler signed on to direct the film. It was just one way Boseman helped show that centering Africanness — putting African aesthetics, language and accents front and center — is a fight worth having.

It was only after his death that the world learned that Boseman had been fighting colon cancer for four years, including while playing T’Challa. Alongside his health battles, he was fighting Marvel itself to ensure Africa wasn’t presented through a colonial lens. In 2018, he told the Hollywood Reporter that Marvel initially thought that the accents would be “too much.” “I felt the exact opposite — like, if I speak with a British accent, what’s gonna happen when I go home? It felt to me like a deal-breaker,” he said. “I was like, ‘No, this is such an important factor that if we lose this right now, what else are we gonna throw away for the sake of making people feel comfortable?”

In choosing to fight for African accents, Boseman was fighting against the legacies of colonialism. The fictional kingdom of Wakanda is supposed to be a powerful African nation, one that is self-sufficient — a representation of what could have been if African nations had not been colonized and plundered for their resources by outside powers. Marvel would have undermined one of the central motifs of “Black Panther” if it had gotten its way and forced its actors to adopt British accents, to mimic the tongue of one of Africa’s most powerful colonizers.



Boseman worked with a dialect coach for his role, to take on a Xhosa accent to match the heritage of Kani, who played his father, T’Chaka, in the films. Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o spoke in her native Kenyan accent. The other accents were “all over the place” as Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo said at the time. “They wanted to base the accents on Xhosa from South Africa, but some of it sounded Nigerian, others sounded more Ugandan. It was very confusing, and I understand perfecting an accent is difficult, but oh, my goodness, it was so messy!”

As a first-generation American with roots in Ghana, I recognize what Boseman did to champion a fantasy rendering of Africanness on a big screen may have been messy to our ears. But it was important for global Black culture. Back in 2009, when I lived in Accra, Ghana, as a media researcher, I remember attending radio journalism classes where the instructors lectured aspiring radio presenters in the class to approximate the accent of Queen’s English. (The instructors tried to correct my American accent, too). The message they were sending was clear: To be seen as authoritative, respectable, worthy of being listened to, you needed to speak in the same accent as the very people who helped to subjugate Ghanaians.

“Black Panther” is proof that isn’t true. And today, more and more Black creators of African heritage are finding their way onto the big and small screen, and bringing African accents and languages with them.

It was affirming to see that, in the brilliant and provocative HBO series “I May Destroy You,” the main character, Arabella, played by the show’s writer and creator Michaela Coel, goes home to her Ghanaian household, where her mother speaks Twi and Twi-accented English. Arabella’s brother even teases her for not knowing enough of her own language. On television, the American sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola” is about a White man who falls in love with a Nigerian nurse. My mother, who grew up in Nigeria, always tries to catch the show when it comes on, chuffed to see Nigerian accents and immigrant culture represented on an American sitcom.



“Black Panther” now holds its place in history as one of the most successful superhero movies of all time, grossing more than $1 billion in global box office sales. But to many of us, Boseman and Coogler’s artistic commitment to centering Africanness was the true victory. It’s why Boseman’s sudden death hurts so much in this moment. When icons and heroes pass on, it is always painful. But it feels especially cruel to lose Boseman so suddenly in a year in which the fight for Black life and against white supremacy has gone global.

Our Black Panther has gone to be with the ancestors. But we can take comfort that Boseman opened a portal, proving that future stories rooted in Africanness and Blackness deserve to be fought for.



https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/09/01/why-chadwick-bosemans-fight-african-accents-black-panther-was-so-important/
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Offline Ezyo

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There is so much out there about what Chadwick was doing and has done, from turning down equity deals because he didn't want to hurt the BP Brand for black children, to how he approached roles, Cooglers tribute to him, MBJs. The man was/is a walking role model, the more I read, the more it hurts or know just what kind of person we lost to frakking cancer. Dude was so aware and literally living in year 3000s

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Africans Mourn Chadwick Boseman: 'A Great Tree Has Fallen'
By Ifeanyi Nsofor



The death of actor Chadwick Boseman last week at the age of 43 came as a shock to many Africans. I liken it to the death of a great African King. In my Igbo culture, when a great king passes on, we say, "Oke osisi adaala n'obodo," which means "a great tree has fallen in the land." It is a rare occurrence for great trees to fall. However, the fall is also not the end of the tree because its deep roots ensures it keeps sending out new sprouts.

Boseman's life is like that. Part of him will continue to live on through his films and inspire us, especially his role as King T'Challa in Black Panther.

The 2018 film was a hit across Africa. The fictional country of Wakanda, which was depicted in the movie as the most technologically advanced society in the world, was the nation that Africans wish they had. The film reminded us of what is possible for African countries – and how our continent could be powerful and respected.

I recall how excited Africans were to watch the film. In Ghana, people were dancing, drumming and wearing traditional clothing at the premiere. The former vice president of Nigeria took his family on a special outing to see the film. Others provided viewing opportunities to those who could not afford it. My friend Angela Ochu Baiye, a 2019 Mandela Washington fellow for the Young African Leaders Initiative, was so moved by Black Panther that she raised funds and took 200 children from poor communities to watch the movie at a cinema in Abuja, Nigeria. "To see yourself represented in fiction, especially through a lead character, is meaningful and profoundly empowering beyond words," she wrote on her social media.

Boseman's unexpected death has left Africans feeling as if we have lost one of ours. Indeed, he was one of us. During a 2018 interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Boseman acknowledged his African lineage. His family is from the Yoruba people, one of Nigeria's largest tribes, and the Limba, who come from Sierra Leone. He said his African background was one of his influences for making Black Panther more human. He succeeded in making the character someone we all wish we knew.

Africans have been sharing tributes to Boseman across social media. It's a reflection of how beloved he is on the continent. Nigerian Stephanie Busari, CNN's supervising producer for Africa, tweeted, "Chadwick Boseman will never know how much we loved him. Battling colon cancer, shooting films in between bouts of chemo and surgery. What amazing strength. He once said: 'The struggles along the way are only meant to shape you for your purpose.' Rest on King. Long live T'challa!"

South African activist Bele Nanotshe tweeted: "I would like to send my deepest condolences to Chadwick Boseman family and friends. On behalf of South Africa, I say we are proud of you and your achievements and the genuine manner in which you portrayed Pan Africanism in Black Panther movie. Rest in peace. We will indeed miss u my bro."

African corporations have also found ways to honor Boseman's death. On Aug. 31, the TV network M-Net Movies, in collaboration with Marvel Studios, aired Black Panther on one of its mainstream channels to share the film with a wide African audience.

In Africa and beyond, Boseman's death also has brought global attention to colon cancer. Many are amazed how the actor handled the disease with superpower attributes. Despite his diagnosis at age 39, he continued acting. I am hoping for a Chadwick Boseman effect that would lead to an increase in screenings for colon cancer, similar to the Jane Goody effect. After the British reality TV star died from cervical cancer in 2009, the U.K. saw a surge in cervical cancer screenings.

In mourning Chadwick's death, Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, a Nigerian board member of the Union for International Cancer Control, reminds all that "Cancer is constantly in our faces; regardless of age, sex or ethnicity. It seems to beat even those with the best hospitals and access to care. We must not despair. We have to remain vigilant, watch for early signs and live a healthy lifestyle."

Runcie Chidebe, a Nigerian cancer control advocate sent me this statement: "The U.S. and global cancer control must consider reviewing the screening age for colon cancer. Chadwick's diagnoses at 39 is not unique. In Nigeria, we have seen 30-year-olds diagnosed of colon cancer."

Indeed, the greatest tribute that Africa can give to Boseman is to ensure there are no more untimely deaths from colon cancer on the continent. African governments must increase access to preventative and curative services for colon cancer and other cancers. Sadly, the current access to prevention and treatment of cancers is abysmal in sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2019, Nigeria had just 4 cancer treatment centers for an estimated population of 200 million. For this population, Nigeria would require at least 170 cancer treatment centers, according to the World Health Organization.

As Africans, we have to hold our governments accountable to prevent and treat cancers. Moreover, with COVID-19 raging globally and cancers being risk factors for severe illness in those infected, there is no time to waste.

As Africans, we take solace in what King T'Challa said in Black Panther: "In my culture, death is not the end."

We believe he lives on. We are stronger now that such a great king has transited to become one of our ancestors, watching over us. We will be strong. We will live like the Black Panther.

Ifeanyi Nsofor is the director of policy and advocacy at a health group called Nigeria Health Watch and Senior New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute.


https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/09/01/908471876/africans-mourn-chadwick-boseman-a-great-tree-has-fallen
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