What kind of relationship do you have with the Ancestors?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

"Black Panther" - Because Just Short of Vibranium, Africa Just About Had All The Rest of That Covered

Long-awaited Marvel Studios film, "Black Panther", comes out of the gate (equine metaphor, spiritual portal or otherwise) on February 16th in the USAmerica.  In a world where Africa and Africans have fought colonialism, racism, misogynoir, economic exploitation and cultural genocide, relevant, supportive and inspirational cultural media representation can take on mythic dynamics. Especially when something like "Black Panther" comes along in an age of powerful cinematic, visual, sound and effects ascendancy, the possibilities for even small, but profound shifts and awakenings become very, very real. 

Though the storyline is fictitious, its scaffolding follows many historical and political benchmarks of the African experience.  The World Ancestor Concert Team wanted to present a few resources to help people ground themselves in that historical context, to look more deeply at the Ancestral gifts that are rich and ubiquitous in Africa, far beyond the abyss of predominant negativity and devastation that the mainstream and colonial media would have you, African or not, believe and respond to.

Black Panther, womenwaterpeace, African women, womanism
image from imdb.com

The first resource, an article by The Root, is an extremely helpful and timely look at the connection of what looks like it will be an amazing film to the realities of African history.  We at WAC and moja mediaworks invite you to look more deeply into the historical beauty and genius that is Africa, along with its struggles.  We look forward to conversations with you about this film and Africa, the gifts of the Ancestors and more.

  1. Black Panther: An Allegory of the World Wanting Blackness but Not Black People, Carolyn Hinds, The Root 
    "But like the Portuguese, Ross and Klaue will learn that black people—particularly black women—will fight tooth and nail to protect what’s theirs. In Wakanda, there is a resisting force of warriors known as the Dora Milaje, and like Queen Nzinga of Ndongo (now known as Angola) and the legendary female Dahomean army, the Dora Milaje, led by their general, Okoye, and aided by Shuri’s technology, will do what they must to protect their king and kingdom against all invaders because they have no other choice."
  2. "Introduction to African Civilizations", John G. Jackson
  3. "The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality" - Cheikh Anta Diop
  4. "Let The Circle Be Unbroken: The Implications of African Spirituality in the Diaspora" - Marimba Ani
  5. "Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.", Chancellor Williams
  6. "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" - Walter Rodney
    "This year marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Every now and then in history a scholarly enterprise emerges that breaks new ground and provokes an impact that exceeds the confines of narrow academia. Walter Rodney’s seminal work in combination with his other projects performed precisely this function for Africa and beyond. Its publication and reception exemplified the strains and fissures in the scholarship focused on the continent at the time. It would go on to become one of the most influential books in the ‘Third World’.

    When it emerged in 1972 the book was hailed in Dar-es-Salaam as ‘probably the greatest book event in Africa since Frantz Fanon’. Wole Soyinka, the African novelist went further. He suggested that Rodney was one of the first ‘solidly ideologically situated intellectuals ever to look colonialism and exploitation in the eye and where necessary, spit in it’." - Forty Years of 'How Europe Underdeveloped Africa' - Pambazuka News, 2012, Nigel Westmaas
  7.  Dr. John Henrik Clarke - Africa: Empires of Ghana & Mali - YouTube

Please take some time to look into any or all of the above resources on African history and culture.  Any and all of these will enrich your experience of "Black Panther" whether you get to them before you see it or soon (!) after. We look forward to hearing from you around these important issues of culture, tradition and, of course, the Ancestors.

Enjoy the film!

#culture #tradition #Africa #Ancestors #worldancestorconcert #womenwaterpeace

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