“We’re going to fight racism not with racism, but we’re going to fight with solidarity.” Fred Hampton Black Panther
What were you expecting somebody from Wakanda? Joking aside I loved the original Black Panther comic books, illustrated by Jack Kirby. When I was older I got the entire series along with the others he did such as Machine Man and Nova. But comic books and movies for that matter are not life.
I grew up watching Clint Eastwood. Dirty Harry, in my naive eyes was some cool dude. He was tough and righteous in a wicked sort of way. Of course I also remember how people of darker skin were portrayed. They were always the bad guys, the guys Dirty Harry either beat up or shot up. I didn’t even have the sense enough to sniff out the racism.
The power of media is extremely potent. Image is so much. Remember Madonna and how so many girls of my generation wanted to be like her. So much so that they emulated her dress. Black Panther then is an achievement of sorts. It presents people of darker skin in a positive light. The Africans in this case are not the bad guys but the hero. The message this communicates to the masses is profound.
Still in the end, no matter how positive it is but fantasy. But then again so is the nightly news. Many people in America point to the trio of the three O’s Oprah, O.J. and Obama and think that racism has vanished. I even know some people classified as ‘white’ who believe that reverse racism is in place. That is ‘blacks’ somehow get preferential treatment.
I am glad that, as a people, people of darker skin are progressing forward to full equality and integration in society. On a very related note Chief Wahoo, the racist image for the Cleveland Indians is going to be retired. Many people do not know that the racism inflicted upon Native Americans is perhaps the vilest in our country. The indigenous peoples are a fourth world nation living in a first world nation as far as wealth goes.
But of course everything falls short without reparations. That is that the descendants of African Americans and Native Americans get some pay back for the work that they have done. The Native Americans in truth own this land and no matter what anybody does or say will ever change that reality. African Americans deserve payback for their work.
If you had a distant relative who deposited money in a bank two hundred years ago and you were the heir would you want your money? Not only would you want your money but you would demand your money and fight like hell for your money. Well then what about the African slaves who have literally invested their blood, sweat and tears into the system to be robbed of even their forty acres and a mule? Subsistence welfare and an occasional free education in the oppressor’s school simply does not cut it.
So here we are with an African movie strong and positive. Of course as aptly pointed out it is making a lot of money. Insane as it is that is the bottom line of European society. What do I call it insane? Because money is a fictional concept that has no real worth. I can probably guess the mood of Disney Executives by quoting Roger Waters, “We’re so happy we can hardly count”.
In the end from the imagination comes the ideas that will form reality. It really doesn’t matter where a child gets the idea that he can achieve as long as he believes that he can. If Black Panther can inspire a generation of young Americans of color to succeed and fight for what they deserve, well more power to them.
Now maybe they can do a movie about revolution in America and throwing all of the Warlocks of Wall Street into prison.
Please check out my efforts in the imagination in my book “From Chaos To Cosmos” One story, ThunderBird features a Native American, for all that is worth. http://amzn.to/2FgYQKI
Photos by Hannaford,