Heroic Warriors or Mindless thugs?(Killmonger,Magneto,Koba)

Erik Killmonger...

What is a warrior? What is an ignorant thug?  What is a ruthless killer?  What is a revolutionary? What does it mean to have courage? I’ve been asking these questions to people I know recently?  In the film Black Panther the anti-hero is Erik Kilmonger. There have been many debates on Twitter,Facebook and YouTube about whether Killmonger was a hero or not.  Killmonger’s main objective was to liberate oppressed black people all over the world.  He wanted to level the playing field against white supremacy.  And he was seen as the villain.  Now don’t get me wrong,Killmonger was no angel. Far from it. He was ready to kill anything in his way. He grew up in poverty in a crime ridden city called Oakland. So he had a lot to be  angry about.  I find it interesting that although KIllmonger is seen as the villain,white supremacy is never named in the film.  The word “racism” is never said in the film.  It’s only implied.  And that is the REAL source of his anger and his oppression.   But anyway,nothing would stop him from completing his mission.  Even with the odds against him he stayed focused on the mission at hand.  But he was portrayed as an African-American thug.  The real public enemy number one.  This is why Black Panther is the hero in a white-created film.  They don’t want children to admire the traits of Killmonger because he’s a threat to the racist power structure.  That’s why I tell people Black Panther is full of anti-black propaganda. What exactly is propaganda? Propaganda is the effort to spread a belief or an opinion about a certain issue. Commercial advertisers,government,media,pressure groups and public officials all use propaganda. The whole point of propaganda is an attempt to get people to think a certain way about something.  I feel propaganda is most effective when people don’t realize it as propaganda.  This is why characters like Erik Killmonger are painted as the bad guy.  His motives are liberating for black people but they portray him as a mindless thug so you associate the behavior with the ideology.

Propganda...

I’ve seen this pattern of painting revolutionaries as the anti-hero.  I remember reading years ago that the Marvel characters Professor X and Magneto were based off of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X.  Marvel comics founder Stan Lee also admitted that the X Men super powered mutants were based off of the black civil rights movement going on in the sixties.  This is one of the reasons Magneto is seen as the evil villain. He wants to liberation of mutants against oppression.  But when you listen to Magneto talk about the the situation of mutants he’s always making valid points.  And he believes if mutants want true freedom they have to do it ” by any means necessary”.Malcolm Magneto..

Koba1..

Another character that was revolutionary was Koba from The Planet of The Apes.  Koba believed that apes shouldn’t trust humans.  The main leader of the apes was Caesar.  He and Caesar rarely saw eye to eye. I also noticed that Caesar was a darker skinned ape. Whereas Caesar has a more light skinned face. Koba also had a scarred face from the torture he received from evil humans.  So Koba even looked like an ugly monster.  This is also subliminal programming.  It’s to give the impression that if someone is unattractive then they must be evil.  Which we know is not true.  I’ve met plenty of good looking people that were selfish,vain,manipulative  and egotistical.  But people are trained to believe that exterior beauty translates to inner beauty.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here’s a synopsis from Gaspar Yanga:

“In the begging of this movie, some scientist wander into the apes territory ( theme of White innocence) and have a dispute with the Apes, in which one Ape is shot. Caesar, being the leader tells the people to leave and takes the injured Ape back home. Koba, having been abused by humans (Europeans), tells Caesar they should follow the humans back to where they are at. Koba comes back and tells Caesar, that he believes they should attack the humans before they get stronger. Caesar makes a snarky comment about how the only thing that Koba, learned from humans is hate. ( theme of seeking retribution against Europeans is wrong).

Koba, goes back into the human’s camps, only to find they are stockpiled with WEAPONS. The innocent humans that Caesar loves so much has a army reserve of military grade weapons. Some of the humans go back to the Apes home, while Koba was gone, in order to seek Caesar’s approval to search for a dam which could power their city. Upon, rushing back to tell Caesar of this great potential threat of humans, Koba is furious to find out that that humans have been allowed back into the Apes territory, along with the human that shot an ape named Ash. Koba and Caesar fight before Koba can tell Caesar, that the humans are preparing to for some type of war with all the weapons. Koba comes up with this genius plan, he goes back to the human camp to steal a gun so he can use it to shoot Caesar and tell the Apes that a human shot Caesar at night and that they should attack the humans. Koba’s brilliant plan works. Koba shoots Caesar at night time while some of those humans are in camp and he runs to tell the other Apes, that humans shot Caeser. Well, during the Ape attack on the humans, Koba gives a command to kill this human to another ape, this Ape refuses, Koba pats him on the back, then drags him by the head and throws him off the ledge showing the other apes who is the king of the hill. Koba, then arrest all those who are loyal to Caser and like humans. Koba is an example of supreme intelligence, military strategy, and brilliance. He removes a weak leader with a brilliant plot. He then consolidates power through force (Mao style) and he units the Apes, around their Ape identity. Koba is the ultimate Ape Nationalist and Freedom Fighter. The only thing that Koba does not tolerate is softness for enemies, he considers that WEAKNESS.

Caesar, in talking to the “GOOD HUMAN” (WHITE), says this ” Ape start war, Human will not forgive”. Caesar, blames his own people for the war. The humans created the experimental drug, the humans abused the apes giving them a reason to never trust them and the humans were trying to recolonize the world. Caesar, blames Koba and his people for starting a war that was caused by the humans (Whites). This, of course, is how the warped mind of the European is even in his movies and how he plants this false consciousness in others (mostly Black Christians). The writers actual ignore the history of the Apes and manipulates Caesar into this self hating, self loathing ape who has a soft spot in his heart for humans. Koba was punished in the movie for: 1. Never forgiving humans 2. Loyalty to his own kind and Caesar is made a hero for 1. Forgiving the Europeans 2. Seeing the good in all people.

Koba2..

The problem is people want a kind and sweet revolution.  They don’t know what it takes to get real freedom and liberation.  A real warrior will do whatever he needs to do to get freedom.   A warrior is usually a person experienced in warfare.  Or a person that has shown great vigor,aggression and courage. In a white racist society they want to demonize revolutionaries so people don’t see them as heroes. These films want you to identify with the so-called heroes.  But if you’re an oppressed group you should be rooting for the revolutionary.  When the European colonizers came to America that killed everything that wasn’t European.  They killed millions of Native Americans.  They killed millions of Africans.  They raped women and killed babies.  They were heartless and ruthless and their quest for power and domination.  They were bloodthirsty and heartless!  That’s what they did in the America’s and in Africa. They know what it takes to achieve a revolution.  This is what brave Haitians did in the revolution in 1804.  These were real Africans warriors that knew who was the enemy.  They couldn’t show any weakness against the evil Frenchmen.  And these are the qualities that fictional characters like Killmonger,Magneto and Koba possess. This is why it’s important to recognize propaganda when it’s in front of you.  And these Hollywood films are full of them.  When I was younger I couldn’t see it.  But my eyes are wide open now.  They’re training you to root for the real villains.  So in essence,they have you going against your own self interest.  And ultimately your freedom.

 

Black Panther film- Psychological Warfare by Franklin Jones

Black Matrix..

Most people believe that white dominance is maintained only through their economic and military powers. However, it’s also equally maintained through psychological means. Oppressors also maintain their power by constantly indoctrinating narratives into the minds of the oppress that aids in the preservation of their dominance. Because if the oppressed are left to functions based upon their own narratives, born of their oppression, this breeds dissent among them that leads to revolution. When the oppressed functions based upon their own narratives many are even willing to die and become martyrs for their causes.
This is why white societies never acknowledges, validates, nor provide a national platform for any narratives from a Black perspective against white oppression. White societies are scripted so that the prevailing narratives always favor themselves.
Have you ever noticed that whenever a Black person is invented as a guest on a national television show to speak out about how white racism and white oppression profoundly effects our communities, that the white establishment always invite another guess to vilify them and or to argument? However, to the contrary, whenever white people from anywhere around the world speak about their oppression by a white government their words are praised and efforts are applauded by white societies. In fact when Black people speak out about their oppression and seeking liberation from it, even when using the exact same words as whites, we’re immediately labeled as militant radicals and criminalized. In the U.S were now labeled by the FBI as Black Identity Extremest and are placed on their watch list. This action by the U.S. white establishment is actually much more nefarious than just white hypocrisy. It’s the deliberate tactic of:
THE MASS GAS LIGHTING OF BLACK POPULATIONS .
Nowadays, whenever Black populations attempts to protest any mistreatments they endure from white societies, the white establishment will never legitimize these grievances. They will instead always respond by presenting narratives that counters and undermines the Black protests. It’s a distraction tactic known as Mass Gas Lighting.
This tactic is also what’s being done when the white establishment response to the Black lives matter slogan by saying that all lives matters. It’s also what’s being done when Black protest against the repeated killing of their love ones by white police officers and the white establishment responds with the false narrative that Black people are declaring a war on police officers.
The term gas- lighting psychological abuse is usually associated with individual abusive relationships, wherein which one person is manipulated and mentally abused for the benefited of the other. However, that same system is also being used on a large scale level by white societies against Black populations. It’s then referred to as Mass Gas Lighting Psychological Warfare.
Mass Gas lighting psychological warfare is a form of mass psychological abuse wherein which the oppressors routinely creates, and then imposes, false narratives beneficial to their own cause upon the oppressed population. It is a insidious form of psychological abuse wherein in which information is always twisted, spun, and or selectively omitted to favor the oppressor. This routine behavior, by the white establishment, in response to Black protest, is intentionally being done to mentally abuse the Black population. It’s a insidious psychological warfare system. This tactic is also what’s actually being done to Black people whenever white societies labels us (Black people) as being racist for protesting against their white racism towards us. This tactic shifts the focus away from the inequality being expressed by the Black population and forces the Black population to instead engage in defending themselves against false accusation of racism. Meanwhile the true issue of Black inequality is never addressed by the white establishment.
This mass gas lighting system is the reason why we literally have peaceful Black protesters crying; “please stop the white cops from killing us”, and the white establishment responding by criminalizing them as thugs, and using many deflecting commentaries to avoid addressing the issue. This psychological warfare practice is what you’re witnessing when the white establishment says; “All Lives Matters”, as rebuttals to the “Black Lives Matters” slogan. This rebuttal is merely a distraction tactic. It’s intentionally designed to divert attention away from the issue of Black victims being routinely killed by white cops. It’s also used to defuse the moral statement of “Black Lives Matters”. The flag kneeling issue is also merely a distraction tactic. It’s intentionally designed to divert attention away from the issue of Black victims being routinely killed by white cops.

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Within this psychological warfare system, the white establishment is never acknowledged as morally wrong, and the Black oppressed are never acknowledged as morally correct. This practice is continued until the Black population begins to doubt their own positions. Many begins to doubt their reasons for protesting, thinking that if their cause isn’t being recognized by the dominant society then perhaps it lacks merit. The mind’s of targeted populations are quite easy to manipulate if they’re unaware of what’s being done to them. Once minds have been confused, manipulation becomes simple. The mind will even ignore common sense, and rationality falls away, even overlooking hypocrisy and deception.
Our common mistake, as Black people living within white dominant societies, is that we perceive ourselves as being fully citizens however in reality nothing could be furthest from the truth. Although white governments professes equality for all citizens they’re secretly unrelentingly committed towards the preservation of their nation’s white dominance. This unrelenting commitment has always necessitated that systems be secretly implemented against the interests of Black populations- as a means of protecting their white dominance.
During the 1960’s Civil Right Movement, the blatantly racist Jim Crow segregation systems used in the past for maintaining the U.S white dominance had ran their course– thus became no longer morally and socially acceptable with the changing times. Therefore moral judgement was on the side of African Americans. As a result of this African Americans gain much global attention and support. Dr. King was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The situation tarnished the U.S image, eroded its globally standing, and embarrassed the US government. This required that the white establishment abandon this blatantly immoral practice and develop more covert methods for protecting the nation’s white dominance. The logical solution was use the same well proven psychological warfare propaganda campaigns that were already used to control the masses domestically and used against foreign nations during wartime to now control Black populations. These warfare tactics that are presently being deployed against Black people by white nations are Mass Gas Lighting Warfare, Manufactured Consent (for Black mistreatment), and
Black Demoralizing Divide and Conquer Warfare.
I have already explained the Mass Gas lighting warfare tactic, now I will explain the two additional listed tactics of :
1. Manufactured Consent (for Black mistreatment).
2. Divide and Conquer Warfare.
1. Manufactured Consent for the mistreatment of Black populations.
Whenever those that are in power wants to created a national setting that allows their mistreatment of a targeted population they use media to spread fraudulent propaganda portraying the targeted population as being a major problem of the society –through lies and manufactured news items. This create a consensual national setting that justifies their mistreatment. The tactic is called:
MANUFACTURED CONSENT” ( to mistreat)
What this more specifically means is to turn a harmless population into a fearsome enemy of society through false negative news media propaganda. Then use the false negatives perception of the group to justify routinely attacking and killing them. This tactic is precisely what is being done to Black populations by white societies. The white media intentionally portrays Black people as being a part of a treacherous, frightening, and insane fringe, thereby creating a false impression of wanton Black criminality and violence. This create contemptuous, distorted perceptions and acrimonious beliefs about the Black population that are designed to makes the nation and the entire world insensitive to their plight, tranquilize efforts on their behalf, and makes any serious criticism of White racism now almost impossible. When contempt of Black people is made to appear to be justifiable, this creates conditioned responses in the nation for eventualities to unfold against Black populations without opposition or resentment. Furthermore, it creates a consensual national setting wherein which witnesses, and bystanders, will sit by idly allowing Black populations to be brutally mistreated under the belief that it is all justified. This is very evident within the U.S. Criminal Justice system wherein which Black people are disproportionately incarcerated, given stiffer sentences, and are more likely than other racial groups to be treated brutally, beaten, and fired upon by police officers while they are unarmed. This is the reason why it is possible for white cops to habitually kill unarmed Black people and avoid being indicted by merely saying that they feared for their lives. These injustices are now often ignored because the perception has subconsciously become that it’s all now justified.
BLACK DIVIDE AND CONQUER PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE:
The white oppressor’s greatest power over us is their ability to control information that shapes our perception of reality and the capacity to make us then act according to these false perceptions.
The white media’s unrelenting negative depictions of Black people– that amplifies the negative to the point that it distort reality– is much more than just bias media reporting. It is also actually a Divide and Conquer psychological warfare system. Throughout world history, oppressors have often deployed divide and conquer tactic against the oppressed because self loathing and division amongst the oppressed makes them easier to control. This modern system is deplored like a massive media marketing campaign that constantly subjects Black people to seeing only the fraudulent worst within themselves. Its weapon is the message that it carries. Within this system fraudulent black racially demoralizing propaganda is pumped unrelentingly into the unsuspecting minds of Black populations–without being challenged or counterbalanced by an equal amount Black positive racially affirming information. It conveys the subliminal message that Black people are there own worst enemy and therefore needs whites to govern over their lives. Moreover, that Black people should admire, respect, and trust only Whites. This system is extremely effective because when Black people are repetitively presented these noted narratives from trusted white media sources it can be very difficult to resist it’s implied programming. Especially when the propaganda is being told daily and so unrelentingly.
With time, being unable to refute the constant negative information about themselves, many Black people eventually comes to accept them. They unconsciously influences how many within the Black population perceives themselves, creating division and self hatred among themselves. It also turns the collective aggressions of Black people away from the white society and turns them inward towards themselves. Our core problem has always been the monopoly that the white oppressors have over our minds. This warfare tactic works so well that it not only makes Black people more compliant with white dominance over their lives, it in fact makes many even prefer it. It’s at the root of the self hatred affecting many Black people and false feelings of false superiority held by many whites.
Throughout history the oppressor’s depiction of the oppressed has never been a true one. It is always a false depiction of the oppressed that serves the nefarious agendas of the oppressors. The oppressors always vilify the oppressed to validate their mistreatment of them. They always dehumanize the oppressed to make others insensitive to their plight. And they always depict the oppressed in a manner that demoralizes them. Because this makes the oppressed self loathing and divided – which then makes them easier to control. These are the exact same tactics that white societies presently uses against Black populations.

Article by Franklin Jones.  Be sure to buy his book The BlackPeopleMatrix.

Black Panther: The Revolution will never be televised(Spoiler review)

Black Panther Film...

Black Panther, the most recent entry into the Marvel cinematic universe, has been greeted with the breathless anticipation that its arrival will Change Things. The movie features the leader of a fictional African country who has enough wealth to make Warren Buffet feel like a financial piker and enough technological capacity to rival advanced alien races. The change that the movie supposedly heralds is black empowerment to effectively challenge racist narratives. This is a tall order, especially in the time of Trump, who insists that blacks live in hell and wishes that (black) sons of bitches would get fired for protesting police violence. Which makes it a real shame that Black Panther, a movie unique for its black star power and its many thoughtful portrayals of strong black women, depends on a shocking devaluation of black American men.

To explain my complaint, I need to reveal some key plot turns: spoiler alert.

Wakanda is a fictional nation in Africa, a marvel beyond all marvels. Its stupendous wealth and technological advancement reaches beyond anything the folks in MIT’s labs could dream of. The source of all this wonder is vibranium, a substance miraculous in ways that the movie does not bother to explain. But so far as we understand, it is a potent energy source as well as an unmatched raw material. A meteor rich in vibranium, which crashed ages ago into the land that would become Wakanda, made Wakanda so powerful that the terrors of colonialism and imperialism passed it by. Using technology to hide its good fortune, the country plays the part of a poor, third-world African nation. In reality, it thrives, and its isolationist policies protect it from anti-black racism. The Wakandans understand events in the outside world and know that they are spared. This triumphant lore—the vibranium and the Wakandans’ secret history and superiority—are more than imaginative window-dressing. They go to the heart of the mistaken perception that Black Panther is a movie about black liberation.

Killmonger..

In Black Panther, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has risen to the throne of Wakanda. We know that his father, T’Chaka, the previous king, died in a bomb attack. T’Challa worships his father for being wise and good and wants to walk in his footsteps. But a heartbreaking revelation will sorely challenge T’Challa’s idealized image of his father.
The movie’s initial action sequences focus on a criminal partnership between arms dealer Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis) and Eric Killmonger (Michael P. Jordan). They both seek vibranium but for different reasons: Klaue is trying to profit from Wakanda’s wonder-material; Killmonger is trying to make his way to Wakanda to make a bid for the throne. He believes he is the rightful king.
Killmonger, it turns out, is T’Challa’s cousin, orphaned by T’Chaka’s murder of Killmonger’s father and T’Chaka’s younger brother, N’Jobu (Sterling Brown). Why did T’Chaka kill his brother? N’Jobu was found with stolen vibranium. The motive for the theft is where the tale begins—and where the story of black wonderment starts to degrade.
We learn that N’Jobu was sent to the United States as one of Wakanda’s War Dogs, a division of spies that the reclusive nation dispatches to keep tabs on a world it refuses to engage. This is precisely N’Jobu’s problem. In the United States, he learns of the racism black Americans face, including mass incarceration and police brutality. He soon understands that his people have the power to help all black people, and he plots to develop weapons using vibranium to even the odds for black Americans. This is radical stuff; the Black Panthers (the political party, that is) taken to a level of potentially revolutionary efficacy. T’Chaka, however, insists N’Jobu has betrayed the people of Wakanda. He has no intention of helping any black people anywhere; for him and most Wakandans, it is Wakanda First. N’Jobu threatens an aide to T’Chaka, who then kills N’Jobu. The murder leaves Killmonger orphaned. However, Killmonger has learned of Wakanda  from his father, N’Jobu. Living in poverty in Los Angeles, he grows to become a deadly soldier to make good on his father’s radical aim to use Wakanda’s power to liberate black people everywhere, by force if necessary.
By now viewers have two radical imaginings in front of them: an immensely rich and flourishing advanced African nation that is sealed off from white colonialism and supremacy; and a few black Wakandans with a vision of global black solidarity who are determined to use Wakanda’s privilege to emancipate all black people.
These imaginings could be made to reconcile, but the movie’s director and writer (with Joe Cole), Ryan Coogler, makes viewers choose. Killmonger makes his way to Wakanda and challenges T’Challa’s claim to the throne through traditional rites of combat. Killmonger decisively defeats T’Challa and moves to ship weapons globally to start the revolution. In the course of Killmonger’s swift rise to power, however, Coogler muddies his motivation. Killmonger is the revolutionary willing to take what he wants by any means necessary, but he lacks any coherent political philosophy. Rather than the enlightened radical, he comes across as the black thug from Los Angeles hell bent on killing for killing’s sake—indeed, his body is marked with a scar for every kill he has made. The abundant evidence of his efficacy does not establish Killmonger as a hero or villain so much as a receptacle for tropes of inner-city gangsterism.
In the end, all comes down to a contest between T’Challa and Killmonger that can only be read one way: in a world marked by racism, a man of African nobility must fight his own blood relative whose goal is the global liberation of blacks. In a fight that takes a shocking turn, T’Challa lands a fatal blow to Killmonger, lodging a spear in his chest. As the movie uplifts the African noble at the expense of the black American man, every crass principle of modern black respectability politics is upheld.
In 2018, a world home to both the Movement for Black Lives and a president who identifies white supremacists as fine people, we are given a movie about black empowerment where the only redeemed blacks are African nobles. They safeguard virtue and goodness against the threat not of white Americans or Europeans, but a black American man, the most dangerous person in the world.
Even in a comic-book movie, black American men are relegated to the lowest rung of political regard. So low that the sole white leading character in the movie, the CIA operative Everett Ross (Martin Freeman), gets to be a hero who helps save Wakanda. A white man who trades in secrets and deception is given a better turn than a black man whose father was murdered by his own family and who is left by family and nation to languish in poverty. That’s racist.

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Who could hope that this age of black heroes represents thoughtful commentary on U.S. racism rather than the continuation of it? Black Panther is not the first prominent attempt to diversify the cinematic white superheroics and thus not the first to disappoint. After Netflix’s Daredevil affirmed the strong television market for heroes, the media company moved to develop shows for other characters that populate the comic. Jessica Jones, about a white heroine, was a critical success. It handled its tough female protagonist intelligently. That show introduced the character of Luke Cage (Michael Colter), an indestructible black man. When Netflix announced that Cage would have his own show, the anticipation was intense: a bulletproof black man in the age of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown? And he would wear a hoodie and fight police? Instead we got a tepid depiction Harlem poverty, partly the consequence of institutional racism but more closely tied to the greed expressed by two of its big bad black baddies, Black Mariah (Alfre Woodard) and Cottonmouth (Mahershala Ali). But that was not the worst of it. The ultimate evil in the show’s first and only season is Willis Stryker (Eric Laray Harvey), another black man whom Luke Cage must defeat. Stryker is not only a black villain, but Cage’s adopted brother. Cage must beat his brother to a pulp, just as Panther must kill his cousin.

The offenses don’t end, though. If one surveys the Marvel cinematic universe, one finds that the main villains—even those far more destructive than Killmonger—die infrequently. They are formidable enemies who live to challenge the hero again and again. A particularly poignant example is Loki, brother to Thor, the God of Thunder. Across the Thor and Avengers movies that feature him, Loki is single-handedly responsible for incalculable misery and damage; his power play leads to an alien invasion that nearly levels all of Manhattan. Yet Thor cannot seem to manage any more violence against Loki than slapping him around a bit and allowing other heroes to do the same—even as Loki tries to kill Thor. Loki even gets his turn to be a good guy in the recent Thor: Ragnarok. Loki gets multiple, unearned chances to redeem himself no matter what damage he has done. Killmonger, however, will not appear in another movie. He does not get a second chance. His black life did not matter even in a world of flying cars and miracle medicine. Why? Perhaps Killmonger’s main dream to free black people everywhere decisively earns him the fate of death. We know from previous Marvel movies that Killmonger’s desire for revenge is not the necessary condition to eliminate him; Loki’s seeming permanence is proof.

Panther4...

My claim that Killmonger’s black life does not matter is not hyperbole. In a macabre scene meant to be touching, Black Panther carries Killmonger to a plateau so that he might see the sun set on Wakanda before dying. With a spear stuck in his chest, he fulfills his wish to appreciate the splendor his father described, when Wakanda seemed a fairy tale. T’Challa offers Wakanda’s technology to save Killmonger’s life—it has saved the white CIA agent earlier in the film. But Killmonger recalls his slave heritage and tells Panther he’d rather die than live in bondage. He knows the score. He knows that Panther will incarcerate him (as is disproportionately common for black American men). The silence that follows seems to last an eternity. Here is the chance for the movie to undo its racist sins: T’Challa can be the good person he desires to be. He can understand that Killmonger is in part the product of American racism and T’Chaka’s cruelty. T’Challa can realize that Wakanda has been hoarding resources and come to an understanding with Killmonger that justice may require violence, if as a last resort. After all, what else do comic-book heroes do but dispense justice with their armored fists and laser rifles? Black Panther does not flinch. There is no reconciliation. Killmonger yanks the spear out of his chest and dies. The sun sets on his body as it did on Michael Brown’s.

It is fair to wonder whether the movie merely reflects the racial politics of the comic books that serve as its inspiration. Yes and no. In the movie, Killmonger’s relationship to T’Challa is as the comic-book canon portrays it. Killmonger is a deadly killer in the comics as in the movie, but he is also extremely intelligent, studying at MIT to understand the technology he goes on to deploy. In the movie, Killmonger’s only skill is killing; if Coogler intended to make Killmonger a hood-born genius, he has failed badly.
In the comics, Killmonger also dies at Black Panther’s hands. But KIllmonger dies long after he has come to live in Wakanda, albeit under a veil of deceit, before attempting a coup. The comic thus opens (but ultimately rejects) an opportunity to save Killmonger to fight for another day, just as Loki is repeatedly saved. The movie completely forecloses this possibility, which is odd since we can all be fairly certain that there will be a sequel.

What alternative story-lines might have satisfied?
I couldn’t help think of Ulysses Klaue, a mainline villain in the comics who lives a long, infamous life. He would have been a perfectly good villain to motivate the movie’s attempt at wokeness. In the comics, there is bad blood between the Klaue clan and Wakanda’s royal lineage (Klaue’s Nazi grandfather died by the hands of Chanda, an earlier Wakandan king and Panther). In Klaue, we had a white villain whose bloodline is imbued with the sins of racism. Ramonda, played by the ever-regal Angela Bassett, is temporally misplaced in the movie. In the comics canon, T’Challa takes the mantle of the Panther while Ramonda, T’Challa’s stepmother, is being held captive by a white magistrate in apartheid South Africa. If Coogler had at all been interested in making Panther a symbol of racial reparation he could have easily placed Klaue in South Africa, even post-apartheid, and the rescue of Ramonda—with Klaue in the way—could have driven the narrative. Ramonda is prominent in the movie, but she does not animate the movie’s central drama.  Instead, Black Panther is set on a course to kill off his cousin in his first outing, suggesting yet another racist trope, the fractured black family as a microcosm of the black community’s inability to get it together.

Hero for Who...

You will have noticed I have not said much about the movie’s women. They are the film’s brightest spot: the black women of Wakandan descent are uniformly independent, strong, courageous, brilliant, inventive, resourceful, and ethically determined. I take it that a good deal of this is owed to Ta-Nehisi Coates’s success at elevating the series’ women to central characters with influence and power that turns more on their minds and integrity than their bodies. T’Challa’s sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), is sufficiently brilliant to make the Q character from James Bond films seem a clever child with some interesting ideas, while Nakia (Lupita N’yongo) is the ethical center of the film, thoughtful and lacking any stereotypical hysterics or emotional cloudiness that so many movies use to savage the intellect of leading women. Thus the movie deserves praise for its gender politics—save in relation to the only black American woman. The character, Tilda Johnson, a.k.a. the villain Nightshade, has, by my count, less than fifteen words to say in the movie, and is unceremoniously murdered by Killmonger because Klaue is using her as a shield and Killmonger just ain’t got time for that. The lone American black woman is disposed of by black-on-black violence. She is also invisible and nearly silent. In the comic books her character is both a genius and alive and well.

Black Panther presents itself as the most radical black experience of the year. We are meant to feel emboldened by the images of T’Challa, a black man clad in a powerful combat suit tearing up the bad guys that threaten good people. But the lessons I learned were these: the bad guy is the black American who has rightly identified white supremacy as the reigning threat to black well-being; the bad guy is the one who thinks Wakanda is being selfish in its secret liberation; the bad guy is the one who will no longer stand for patience and moderation—he thinks liberation is many, many decades overdue. And the black hero snuffs him out.

When T’Challa makes his way to Los Angeles at the movie’s end, he gestures at all the buildings he has bought and promises to bring to the distressed youths the preferred solution of mega-rich neoliberals: educational programming. Don’t get me wrong, education is a powerful and liberatory tool, as Paulo Freire taught us, but is that the best we can do? Why not take the case to the United Nations and charge the United States with crimes against humanity, as some nations tried to do in the early moments of the Movement for Black Lives?

Black Panther is not the movie we deserve. My president already despises me. Why should I accept the idea of black American disposability from a man in a suit, whose name is synonymous with radical uplift but whose actions question the very notion that black lives matter?

Article by Christopher Lebron

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.

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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

Comic Book films-Black Heroes,White Wealth(Part 1 of 2)

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There’s been a lot of hype about the upcoming Black Panther film. The film is set to be released worldwide on February 16,2018. Which is convenient since February is Black History Month right?  Anyone who follows my blog knows I have mentioned I grew up reading comic books as a child.  I read a lot of DC and Marvel comic books.  I used to read Spider Man,Batman,Superman,The Hulk,X Men and The Fantastic Four. Over the years I have collected hundreds of comic books.  But I was always fascinated by the black comic book characters.  Some of my favorites were Storm,Black Lightning,Steel,Misty Knight and Luke Cage.  But my favorite was probably Black Panther. Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four issue #52 back in 1966.  That issue of Fantastic Four is selling for $400-$800 on the internet.  Although after the Panther film comes out I’m sure the price will skyrocket.  I always thought Black Panther was a cool character.  Panther’s birth name is T’Challa. T’Challa’s senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to superhuman levels by the heart-shaped herb.  T’Challa is a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, tracker and a master of all forms of unarmed combat whose unique hybrid fighting style incorporates acrobatics and aspects of animal mimicry. T’Challa being a royal descendent of a warrior race is also a master of armed combat, able to use a variety of weapons but prefers unarmed combat. He is a master planner who always thinks several steps ahead and will go to extreme measures to achieve his goals and protect the fictional kingdom of Wakanda.  Wakanda is not a real African country.  But it could just as well be Kenya,Nigeria,Tanzania or Ghana.  And this is one of my conerns about the film.  I have covered great African civilizations on this blog many times. Most of us know about The Mali empire as well as ancient Kemet(Egypt),Ghana and Kingdom of Kush. So why is Hollywood making films about fictional African empires when real ones exist?  Of course you know why right?

 

I will admit that the trailer looks really good.  The visuals are nice and it looks to be action packed.  I have watched the reaction from many black film goers on the internet.  I would say that 85% of the reaction has been positive.  And I can see why.  Talented actor Chadwick Boseman  plays the title character.  The cast has some pretty big names. The cast includes Angela Bassett,Forest Whitaker,Danai Gurira,Michael B. Jordan,Lupita Nyongo(my favorite),Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. It’s a majority black cast.  Even the director Ryan Coogler is a black man.  So is this a black film? It seems like it.  But of course the film is being made by Marvel Studios.  Marvel Studios was bought by the Walt Disney Company back in 2009 for 4.24 billion dollars. I did a post in the past about the wicked and racist Disney company.  The Disney president and CEO is a white man named Robert Iger.  So the Black Panther film is basically a Disney film with a black cast.

Black Superheroes..

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I have done many posts on racist Hollywood and their negative stereotypes. Many black people are excited about this film.  And it’s because we want to see ourselves in a positive light.  We want to see ourselves looking glorious and majestic.  We want to see black people as kings and queens on the big screen. Hollywood has given the masses films about Roman empires for years.  Films like Ben Hur,Julius Caesar,Spartacus and Gladiator.  Not to mention fictional films/tv shows like Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones.  They give us hundreds of films showing them as powerful kings and queens.  Then when they want to show African royalty…we get a fictional country??  That is white supremacy at it’s best.  The film looks good but I know how Hollywood operates.  I will be looking for any type of anti-blackness in this film.  And I’m sure there will be some type of black degradation in it.  I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some interracial love going on . Maybe they’ll slip in some lesbian/homosexual scene.  Or possibly showing African traitors in which to instill black people to not trust each other.  I could be wrong…but I doubt it.

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Wakanda is fictional but the Kingdom of Kush was real. Don’t get me wrong,I have nothing against fictional stories.  I grew up enjoying films and television shows like Star Trek and Star Wars.  I think they can be fun and entertaining.  I just think we have to be mindful who is getting our money when we pay for these films.  Black Panther looks like it will be a big blockbuster.  And I’m glad the mostly black cast is getting paid.  But the white owned Disney/Marvel company will be getting the majority of the money. We will be giving our money right back  to racist Hollywood.  They are just doing this film to throw black people a bone! But there are many black comic book artists and writers that could use our support.  That’s what I’ll address in part two.

 

Simone Missick

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Born in Detroit, Michigan, Simone always knew she was meant to perform. Growing up, Simone spent years playing the violin, singing, and playing sports before she decided to focus on acting. While in her first year as an English major at Howard University, she decided to take a theatre for non-majors course. This class solidified her commitment to acting, and she graduated with a minor in Theatre arts. Following graduation, Simone traveled to Oxford, England, where she participated in the British American Drama Academy taking Master Classes with greats Ben Kingsley, Alan Rickman, and Jane Lapotaire. She then honed her craft performing in regional theatre in Detroit, Michigan before packing it all up and moving to Los Angeles. Simone has experienced success filming several short films, features and has begun writing and producing her own series of one act plays. In 2010, Simone will begin production on a self-written web series, and a documentary. She is currently on the Netflix series,Luke Cage.