When you try to hurt me, I laugh — and the laughter knows no pain. I appreciate your joys wherever I find them; your sorrows neither frighten nor discourage me, for there is laughter in my soul.
Black Panther, a movie unique for its black star power, depends on a shocking devaluation of black American men. Black Panther, the most recent entry into the Marvel cinematic universe, has been greeted with the breathless anticipation that its arrival will Change Men in the media essay.
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.
This is a tall order, especially in the age of Donald Trump, who insists that blacks live in hell and wishes that black sons of bitches would get fired for protesting police violence. To explain my complaint, I need to reveal some key plot turns: Wakanda is a fictional nation in Africa, a marvel beyond all marvels.
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 crashed long ago into the land that would become Wakanda, making the country 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. They both seek vibranium but for different reasons: He believes he is the rightful king. The motive for the theft is where the tale begins—and where the story of black wonderment starts to degrade.
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.
He has no intention of helping any black people anywhere; for him and most Wakandans, it is Wakanda First.
The murder leaves Killmonger orphaned. By now viewers have two radical imaginings in front of them: 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.
The fight takes a shocking turn: 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 —in 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.
Even in a comic-book movie, black American men are relegated to the lowest rung of political regard. 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.
It handled its tough female protagonist intelligently. That show introduced the character of Luke Cage Michael Colteran indestructible black man. When Netflix announced that Cage would have his own show, the anticipation was intense: And he would wear a hoodie and fight police?
But that was not the worst of it. Cage must beat his brother to a pulp, just as Panther must kill his cousin. 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.
Loki even gets his turn to be a good guy in the recent Thor: 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. 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. He knows the score.This article or section possibly contains synthesis of material which does not verifiably mention or relate to the main topic. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page.
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