Black Panther: Pan African Superhero?

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One of the problems with Black superheroes in Marvel and DC comics is that they may look Black, but very rarely do they reflect the experiences and struggles of Black people. This was a point that was made Kenneth Ghee who explained in Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation that: “Historically in comic books and movies, the Black superhero operates in a totally Eurocentric (White) context; no Black family, no Black lover, no connection to community or culture…For him (and for us and our children) there is no Black consciousness or Black cause, only a generalized ‘humanitarian’ supportive role from a Eurocentric worldview and perspective.” Given that the Black Panther movie is set to be released next month, I would like to point out that one of the unique things about the Black Panther is that he is one Black superhero who has to confront many of the problems that Black people confront daily. The Black Panther doesn’t just live in Africa, he also lives many of the real problems that Africa has faced and continues to face. Black Panther comics are filled with themes of Western imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism in Africa. These themes are especially prominent in the six episode cartoon series which was an adoption of Reginald Hudlin’s run of the comics.
In the comics Wakanda is the most technologically advanced country in the world because the people of Wakanda are able to utilize their country’s resources for their own benefit. Wakanda was the only African country never to be colonized or conquered, so it did not suffer through the ravages of the slave trade and colonialism which disrupted Africa’s development and, as Walter Rodney explained, underdeveloped Africa. Some have defended colonialism by arguing that colonization was a benefit to Africa because it introduced European technology, but this was not entirely the case. The technology that was introduced was utilized in the service of European domination in Africa. The vast majority of colonized Africans were exploited and impoverished, and they did not benefit from European technology in any significant way.

Ethiopia was able to fend off the Italian invasion and under Menelik II’s rule Ethiopia made many technological advances, including establishing a railway, a postal service, and the country’s first hospital. This was because without European domination Ethiopia was free to adopt European technology and apply it in ways that were beneficial to their country, but the other colonized African nations did not have this benefit. Whereas Menelik was able to establish a hospital, in many colonies Africans were malnourished and given inadequate medical care. In Mozambique the Portuguese failed to train a single African doctor and Guinea-Bissau was even more neglected by the Portuguese colonialists than Mozambique was. Julius Nyerere, the first president of Tanzania, once explained that by the time Tanzania gained its independence the country only had 12 doctors. Wakanda presents us with a glimpse of where Africa could have been had it not been for colonialism, as well as a glimpse of where Africa could very well be with the proper leadership.
Comic book superheroes are typically people who decide to become superheroes due to personal tragedy or by obtaining superheroes, but the Black Panther is unique in that he has inherited his role as a superhero. T’Challa comes from a long dynasty of Black Panthers that have protected Wakanda for thousands of years. The Black Panther does fight the typical super villains that are found in comics, but what makes this character unique for people of African descent is that the Black Panther also fights a threat that Africans had to fight in real life, which is European colonization. For example, one story in Hudlin’s run depicts one of T’Challa’s ancestors defending his nation against an assault led by a European settler known as Klaue. In the story Klaue is a soldier who fought military campaigns in South Africa and has nothing but contempt for Africans, whom he views as uncivilized savages.

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T’Challa’s own story is rooted in Africa’s struggle against neo-colonial forces. T’Challa’s father, T’Chaka, was murdered for refusing to give up Wakanda’s most valuable resource, which is a fictional metal known as vibranium. In Hudlin’s retelling of the story, T’Chaka’s assassination was part of a plot that was carried out by various Western countries that were unable to talk T’Chaka into giving them his country’s resources. When they realized that T’Chaka could not be bought off, their next option was to simply kill him. This brings to mind the assassinations of Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara, and other African leaders who were killed or overthrown by Western countries for refusing to serve the interests of those countries. T’Challa ascends to the throne and has to remain cautious about the fact that the very governments that assassinated his father would be plotting to do the same to him.
Aside from the Western governments that seek to undermine Wakanda to exploit its wealth, the Black Panther also has to confront African dictators such as M’Butu, who is one of the antagonists in the cartoon series. M’Butu is the dictator of a nation that borders Wakanda and he is depicted as being the opposite of T’Challa. M’Butu is greedy, self-serving, and is easily paid off like many of the dictators that continue to rule Africa today. M’Butu is also a close American ally and even agrees to participate in a plot to overthrow the Black Panther. Black Panther not only fights to protect his nation against European invaders, but against African traitors as well.
I am not sure how deeply the movie will delve into these themes. The anti-colonialist message found in the cartoon series and some of the comics was toned down when the Black Panther was introduced in Captain American: Civil War. In that movie T’Chaka’s assassination was part of a plot to frame the Winter Soldier rather than being an assassination that was carried out because T’Chaka refused to give up his country’s resources. Even if the anti-colonialist message is toned down, I still think the significance of the Black Panther movie is that it’s a movie that will challenge some of the ways Africa and African people are typically depicted in the mainstream media. It is also significant in that it has a message that is relevant to all people of African descent. For African Americans and others in the diaspora it is a reminder that there is more to our history that slavery, and for those on the African continent it is a reminder of the great potential that Africa has.

Article by Dwayne Omowale

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The Pale Face of Terrorism

Terrorist Definition..


Amerikkka… despite its “war on terror”, a laughable farce of a term, is home to some of the oldest terrorist organizations in existence.  Organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan, and other scattered “right wing militias” (white supremacist paramilitary groups) essentially only exist for terroristic purposes.  A database compiled by the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute says that out of 201 incidents that could be classified as terrorism between 2008-2016, those committed by “right wing extremists” (code word for white supremacists) outnumber those by so-called “Islamicists” (those who whites want to make the face of terrorism) by nearly a 2-1 margin.  According to the report, right wing/white supremacists account for 115 cases, “Islamicists” accounted for 63 cases, and “others” (so called “left wing” groups, animal rights activists, so-called Black Lives Matter activists, kwk) accounted for 19 cases.  Nearly 1/3rd of those committed by so called “right wing extremists” resulted in casualties.  The Department of Homeland Security issued a report which gave the statistic that white supremacists were responsible for 49 homicides in 26 attacks from 2000-2016, more than any other domestic terrorist movement.  But although these statistics, taken and provided by whites themselves, are as clear as day, the mainstream media, which functions as the propaganda arm of the system of white supremacy, are often very hesitant and unwilling to label these incidents as terrorism.  In fact, in Feb 2017 under the administration of white supremacist in chief, Donald Trump, the government and national law enforcement organizations declared that they would would no longer target white supremacist groups, under a program called “Countering Violent Extremism”, and would instead focus all of their attention on Muslim groups, and that they would be changing the name of the program to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism”.


Recently, the FBI has come with a report that suggests that those who are labeled as “Black Identity Extremists”, which is a totally made-up term/movement, but I suppose that it refers to conscious or “woke” Black people, those of Afrikan descent who are aware of racism/white supremacy, and are actively attempting to crush white supremacy and replace it with justice, are a violent terroristic threat in the US, although details of the crimes of this supposedly dangerous movement are noticeably absent.  This is extremely significant because whites, who are extraordinarily adept at using their propaganda to change the narratives, and literally change the face of the negative, destructive behaviors that they predominantly engage in, are setting the stage to again change the face of terrorism, from its rightful white face, away from the traditional scapegoat of terrorism, the arab/middle easterner, to Black/Afrikan people, and specifically, Black/Afrikan people who do not subscribe to the horrific, immoral system of racism/white supremacy.  This, coupled with the National Defense Authorization act, signed into law by Barack Obama, which authorizes military detention of civilians, even so called US citizens, without habeus corpus or due process, sets the stage for egregious injustice.  Essentially, this means that whites are using terroristic strategies, to strike down so-called terrorism, which really consists of people who fight against the terroristic ways of the establishment.  It is like a complete cipher of evil and injustice.


Since white supremacy is a global problem, and in my view, the single biggest global problem in existence, their terrorism is not only limited to how they deal with non-whites in Amerikkka, but it also applies to the way Amerikkka has operated internationally.  white Amerikkkans, along with those who may be of other races, but who have pledged their allegiance to Amerikkkan white supremacy through their employment and/or association with the institutions that enforce that social order, operate terroristically by way of their constant invasions of foreign territories in order to rape those countries of its natural resources, occupying and colonizing those territories for indefinite periods, and controlling them politically, either outright or by installing puppet regimes.  This actually makes things such as the “war on terror” even more of a joke than usual, because Amerikkka has always been terroristic in nature since its inception, by its own definitions of what terror is.  Their war on terror and labeling all those who are willing to use alternative means for expressing their political viewpoints as terrorists is the definition of projection, and another demonstration of the characteristic arrogance of the practitioners of white supremacy.

Since systematic white supremacy is built unjustly on lies and deception, and was enforced by extreme violence, genocidal acts and enslavement, the only way in which such a system could possibly be maintained is through a system of terrorism.   Terrorism, as defined at the beginning of the article is necessary within such an unjust, immoral system because the system is built directly off of the subjugation of all non-whites, but especially, and most viciously, Black/Afrikan people.  A society that was created through violence, must then be maintained mainly through violence, or the threat thereof.  Such a system is bound to produce rebellion and insurgency among those who are rightfully and righteously dissatisfied and enraged by such malfeasance.  This system has many different components designed to keep Black/Afrikan people mentally distracted and confused, and is designed to coerce Black/Afrikan people into “playing along”, which many do because of the fear of the perceived violent repercussions of speaking out and actively working against white supremacy.  This is yet again, according to the definition  at the beginning, terroristic in nature.  These fears are justified, when one studies the history of those who made it their life’s work to fight white supremacy (Malcolm X, Garvey, Patrice Lumumba, Assata Shakur, Steven Biko, Darren Seals, Khalid Muhammad, and on and on),  It recalls how Baba Kamau Kambon refers to the current dominant social order not as white supremacy, but as systematic global white terror and domination, as a way of not giving whites supreme status, but defining the social order in the way it was established and maintained, through terrorism.

This once again highlights the importance of studying our enemies, and taking in, as well as dispensing correct information.  Without having the correct information, we do not have a chance at survival against this system, which is built on hypocrisy, lies, contradictions, and terrorism, and is armed with a powerful propaganda and public relations machine, which is used to justify whatever the psychopaths who are at the controls of the institutions which constitute white supremacy want to do.  The way western white nations have been beating the drum against terrorism, while making non-whites the face of terrorism, is absolutely nothing but whites using their propaganda arm to change the narrative, project their own psychopathy onto others, and pass the buck, so to speak.  We must re-take control of the narrative, and always define any act of white supremacy as an act of terrorism, while never letting whites, who tend to be magicians with the english language, be able to wiggle their way out of that label.  Those of us who have the correct information can never again allow our enemies to pejoratively use the term terrorist without making them define terrorism, and reminding them of their sordid history of terrorism, in which the system that they enjoy, and use as a weapon against all other people, but especially Black/Afrikan people, was built.


Brother Osei, 21st Century Race Man