What’s Wrong with Wakanda

The nature of Africa’s immense contributions to the world has been the exact opposite of the high tech weapons systems in Wakanda.

Every once in a while a small piece of Africa accidentally reaches the outside world, and the ones which outsiders were ready and able to comprehend causes major revolutions:

African ritual objects gave birth to Cubism, the very beginning of modern art. African perceptual modes and conceptions of space/time became foundation for all visual movements in abstraction to follow.

African rhythmic and tonal understanding, through the epic stupidity and cruelty of colonial process, landed in the Americas and the Caribbean, and produced the Blues, Jazz, Rock, Funk, Disco, House, HipHop, Techno, and every style of popular music to follow, forming the bedrock and essence of what we know as modern social music.

Not hard steel and killing machines, but cultural sciences and soft, human technologies aligned with the improvement of life experience is the core of things that we citizens of the modern world actually love, which actually makes life worth living. (to say nothing of the immeasurable African forms which we have yet to discover, understand, or, sadly, in the context of global capitalism, exploit, such as the wonders of indigenous spiritual/political systems or the extensive knowledge base of medicine.)

By constructing a fantasy of Africa based on wholly non-African values, the prioritising of the hard sciences and technologies for violence, in total ignorance and exclusion of the actual priceless and deeply significant African gifts to the world which has enriched all of our lives, Black Panther perpetuates a West-centric, techno-supremacist, and militarist world view. By highlighting exactly that which Africa lacks, fighter jets and smart bombs, this movie feeds into and exacerbates the colonial stereotypes of “mud huts and spears”, and is indirectly, but fundamentally, structurally, extremely, and thoroughly, racist.

And of course the shitfuckery that is coopting the legacy of the Black Panthers is a whole other issue which perhaps will be addressed elsewhere.



Radical Politics, Radical Design, Radical Rhythm, Radical Optimism. goodsforthepeople.com

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