It took me forever and a day to get up a Black Panther review but it is finally, FINALLY here. And yes I am talking a mile a minute cause my brain is going 5 ways to the wind with everything whirling, so turn on the captions and grab you a drink.
I talked through the review on four points.
- Was Eric Killmonger wrong or right? He was definitely a hotep.
- The power of Wakanda, much like the real world, was Black women.
- Could Wakanda exist in real day Africa? What does Wakanda mean for the African diaspora?
- The boldest statement I have to make about the film overall is that Danai Gurira is the best actor in the movie.
Audre Lorde said “the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house” in an essay very much so worth reading, because Killmonger could never give liberation to Black people by using the same tools as the CIA.
Frantz Fanon, Combahee River Collective and Paulo Freire, I named checked because I’ve read their work on liberation ideology. Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Barbara Smith (part of Combahee) penned Black Women’s Studies. All seminal readings on the liberation of oppressed/colonized people and the history that proceeds us. Combahee, Ida B. Wells, Fannie Lou Hamer, Yaa Asantewaa, Nanna Maroon are all Black women who have sacrificed for the liberation of their communities.
I read a bunch of articles before drafting this review. My favorite was Adam Serwer on Killmonger being a profound and tragic villain, a discussion inspired by Christopher Lebron’s article in the Boston Review. Brooke Obie with Shadow + Act defended Killmonger and provoked some of my critics of his theology. Lastly, Vann Newkirk for The Atlantic, The Provocation and Power of Black Panther, is a must-read.