Most superhero films and their reviewers like to use the statement “it’s like MLK vs. Malcolm X” to define the conflict between their characters. #BlackPanther says, “Oh, you’re still doing that? Because we’re on some Garvey, DuBois, Carmichael, Ani, hooks stuff over here...
...because not only are black people not a political monolith; we're also not politically binary.”
Nakia is what y'all want Killmonger to be
(also i joyfully laughed my ass off when M'Baku said his people were vegetarians. Because why wouldn't worshipers of Hanuman be vegetarian?)
The other person who had me cracking up was M’Baku, leader of the Jabari men. From the first time we saw him, he was full of shenanigans.
But when I truly fell in love with him was when he interrupted a nice, sappy moment by asking them annoyingly “Are you done?” I HOLLERED! I was like “this is a correct pesin.” And then I realized he was clearly a Nigerian. The Jabari Tribe must be Nigerian. Why? “Are you done?” is classic Naija. Also, they’re rude AF, talk mad shit, and like to face their front in conflict. Plus, they can’t be on time for shit. They are not the ones who will show up as an event starts. M’Baku and his squad gon roll in when you start folding chairs, with their takeaway containers. I know my people when I see us.
I expected her to feel empowered. I expected her to feel beautiful. I expected her to feel brilliant. I expected her to feel awe.
What I didn't expect? That she would feel LOSS. Since coming home from #BlackPanther, she keeps saying to me sadly, "Mommy, they took that from us."
After hearing the Xhosa-inspired language of #Wakanda, after seeing the pictures of the varied, real African cultures that inspired the hair & the clothes - after that followed loss.
And it just hit her heart what would have been hers if not for the slave trade.
Ross, to T'Challa: "Look, I like you. A LOT."
Me, in theater: *slashgoggles SPITTAKE*
The fact that my focus in this piece was less about the film as product and more about its politics is itself an accomplishment, a signifier of its exceptional quality. Every frame in Black Panther felt like a gift. A beautifully lit, well-moisturized, spectacularly choreographed gift. What I will remember about Black Panther’s opening weekend is the tragic relief of arguing the ideological calisthenics of a fictional African country instead of whether it is a shithole.
“How different. Exotic,” commented one women as she watched a group of almost 50 people — mostly young and black, many wearing bright fabrics with African designs — stroll through the Shopping Leblon mall. They came this Monday to participate in a rolezinho pretoi, roughly translated to “black stroll,” and watch the film “Black Panther” in Rio de Janeiro’s most exclusive shopping center, a place where black Brazilians are commonly employed, but are rarely seen as customers.
But it has its own mythology…
They believe it was given to them by Hanuman, the ape god. Meanwhile, the people of Wakanda will say, “No, it’s actually the Vibranium that’s seeped into the wood. That makes it stronger.” [Laughs] You have this whole divergence of ideas. They’re quite technologically sophisticated but it’s based around wood. Meanwhile, Wakanda proper is technologically advanced based around Vibranium. That’s kind of where they get separated, but it’s still the same house.
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