By now just about all Americans have seen the anticipated Marvel and Disney film Black Panther. The hype around the Black Panther movie was at an all time high. African Americans and even Africans were dressing up in tribal costomes and face paint heading to their local theaters.
I saw the movie on Sunday, so the next day after the grand opening. Prior to seeing the movie Black Panther, I was seeing all kinds of comments on social media: "Oh my God, the best movie ever!" "Wakanda forever!" "This movie is going to change the African American community in all kinds of positive ways!" Those are a few of the comments I read on social media.
Hell, I was siked and geeked after reading such amazing comments on social media! I thought to myself "Wow, this is fantastic. This movie is going to end violence in cities like Chicago. It's going to solve Black unemployment. It's going to solve recidivism. It's going to create jobs in poor African American communities. It's going to provide better public schools in African American communities"...just kidding, I really didn't think all of that, but I was siked over the movie. Hell I couldn't sleep Saturday night, too afraid the world would end and I wouldn't get the chance to see the Black Panther movie!
After seeing the movie I couldn't see what the hype was. I mean, it was a typical Marvel movie. To me the movie is totally overrated. I walked away disappointed.
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The movie attempted to address the divisions between African Americans and Africans. To that end the movie failed. T'Challa (the Black Panther) represents Africans.
Erik Killmonger represents African Americans. T'Challa only cares about protecting Wakanda, whereas Erik Killmonger wants to use Wakanda and its resources to liberate people of African descent around the world.
In fact, Erick Killmonger's father i.e. N'Jobu felt the same way. His mind and efforts were towards revolution and the freedom of oppressed people of African descent around the world.
However, T'Challa's father i.e. T'Chaka didn't agree with N'Jobu, his brother...in the midst of a tussle, T'Chaka killed his brother N'Jobu, leaving Erik Killmonger fatherless. Kind of funny how the African American is always left fatherless.
T'Challa (the Black Panther) and Erik Killmonger initially didn't know T'Chaka killed N'Jobu, just as many African Americans and Africans don't know the full and true history of Africa's role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
Sure, Wakanda is a fictional African country, but the trans-Atlantic slave trade was nowhere near fictional. So if anyone is going to attempt to showcase the divisions between Africans and African Americans and not deal with the fact Africans sold Africans to Europeans, then that person's showcase is nothing more than a sideshow.
During the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade (1525 - 1866) African kingdoms sold 12.5 million Africans of different tribes to the Portuguese, British, Spanish, Dutch and French to name a few. 2 million enslaved Africans died in the middle passage, leaving only 10.6 million enslaved African survivors.
THIS SHIT AIN'T WAKANDA! THIS SHIT IS REAL LIFE!
During the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade 388,747 enslaved Africans were taken to North America. 1.3 million enslaved Africans were taken to Spanish Central America. 4 million enslaved Africans were taken to British, French, Dutch and Danish holdings in the Caribbean. 4.8 million enslaved Africans were taken to Brazil.
Here's the reality, just as the Wakandans viewed Erik Killmonger as not fully Wakandan, so do Africans view African Americans as not fully African. Africans have said "African Americans are the children of the rapist!" Africans have said "We sold our criminals into slavery, thus we didn't do anything wrong!" Africans have said "Your people was dumb enough to get caught. They should of hid in the bushes!"
Whenever an African American press an African about their ancestors involvement in selling Africans to Europeans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade the only response they have is "Yeah, but you all now call us African booty scratchers!" Like bruh, are you f'king kidding me?!
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Because of Abolitionist such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth...Abraham Lincoln listened to their counsel and Emancipated 4 million enslaved African Americans.
African American civil rights leaders were lynched, burned after church services, assassinated, and treated like crap! Yet the African American prevailed on enemy territory.
Did not one African help in that struggle. In fact, nowhere in history do you read of Africans attempting to buy their brothers and sisters back from Europeans! They didn't give a rat's ass about them.
African Americans went through hell in North America, and we didn't endure that treatment for some African to migrate to America and think himself or herself better than African Americans! You didn't do shit for us! Because of us i.e. African Americans you all are able to come to America and get a good education. Had we not fought, bleed, cried and died for civil rights, your ass wouldn't be able to be as successful as you are here in America.
That's why I say when I see an African in America, that person should kiss the ground I walk on. My people sacrificed for you, not the other way around. All you did was sell us into slavery and didn't look back.
Check the record, you'll find African Americans stood up and helped Africans during apartheid! In fact Rev. Jesse Jackson, Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte, Oprah Winfrey, Angela Davis, Bill Cosby and many others all used their star power to fight against apartheid in South Africa.
Check the record, you'll find Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. Du Bois, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., all in Ghana in support of Kwame Nkrumah before and after the 1966 military coup!
African Americans Tried To Create Wakanda Years Ago!
Just as Erik Killmonger tried to convince the Wakandans to accept and help African Americans and those of African descent throughout the diaspora...so did African Americans with the help of the American Colonization Society and the US Government sought to return to Africa and create a state in Africa for African Americans called Liberia.
Of course the African Americans involved thought it would be a great idea; nevertheless, when they arrived in the region they faced physical aggression from other African tribes.
In 1816, the future of Kru Country took a dramatic turn due to an event that took place thousands of miles away: the formation of the American Colonization Society (ACS). The ACS wanted to find a place to re-settle free-born black Americans and freed slaves, and they chose the Grain Coast.
There were some things I admired about the Black Panther movie such as the ethnic dress found around Africa: Maasai, Toures, Akan, Mursi and Ndebele. An actual African language was used as well called isiXhosa. All that was wonderful to see and hear.
It was awesome to see an all female fighting regimen called the Dora Milaje Warriors. It's interesting because the Kingdom of Dahomey current day Benin, also had an all female fighting regimen called the Ahosi of Dahomey or the Dahomey Amazons.
....but, once again, that little thing called the trans-Atlantic slave trade pops up. Just can't seem to lay doormat. The reality is the Kingdom of Dahomey (16th, 17th, 18th century) thrived off of selling Africans to Europeans. At one point the Kingdom of Dahomey was economically dependent on the slave trade. For nearly 250 years the Kingdom of Dahomey sold Africans to Europeans.
Basically, a few of my ancestors were sold by the Kingdom of Dahomey. Hell, probably the "Dora Milaje/Dahomey Amazons" captured them.
The movie closed with T'Challa i.e. the Black Panther along with his sister Shuri, stopping the revolution of Erik Killmonger by using a White guy who happens to be a C.I.A. Agent named Everett K. Ross in foiling Killmonger's attempt to arm people of African descent around the world in overthrowing their White oppressors.
The ending felt like "Got damn, here we go. These got damn Africans choosing the White man over African Americans once again. LOL!" The bottom line is Wakanda isn't for African Americans, it's for Wakandans.
The best line from the movie was by far after the Black Panther stabbed Erik Killmonger in the chest and offered to save his life, Killmonger responded "Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage!"
That line alone is a line most Africans will never feel the deep pain of! They will never understand the anger of that line. They will never get what that line actually means to African Americans. And yet, here we are in 2018 talking about the divisions between Africans and African Americans.
I really don't see no real dialogue about mending such divisions on the horizon. African Americans have been in America for 400 years come 2019! We've created our own rituals, rites of passage, language, music, culture and customs. African Americans realize Africa isn't a place, it's a people! Africa will forever be part of our DNA, thus we reserve the birthright to cling to any African tradition we feel coincides with our struggle and affirms our identity within that struggle.
Written By: Jim Allen
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