The Wakanda Reader

Here are two full length lists of all the think pieces written about Black Panther. Its been five weeks and the movie is still going strong and breaking records. I’m going to try to bring you interested parties as much reading material on the movie as possible. This also explains why I have been remiss in my review of this movie. There’s not much point in reiterating what better, more eloquent, writers have said about it.

 

The Collection

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-pantherpedia-black-panther-essays-20180308-htmlstory.html

 

Image result for black panther gifs

If you haven’t seen the Marvel superhero movie Black Panther yet, you must be at least a tiny bit mystified about all of the chatter and story-sharing happening on your timelines, particularly the ones about something called “Wakanda.” If you have seen Black Panther, perhaps the only thing that mystifies you about Wakanda is why we don’t have anything like it today.

https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/02/the-wakanda-reader/553865/

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And for you dedicated enthusiasts here’s a Google Doc of nearly every think piece written about Black Panther in the past three weeks. Just look under the terms Black Panther Reader to find nearly 16 pages of goodness. (Are you kidding me,? I haven’t  finished the list myself.) Many of these are written by PoC, but there are some surprisingly eloquent pieces written by White writers, and I was actually glad to read those, (despite my badmouthing of White journalists) because they approached the movie from a perspective no one else did, and those writers understood that.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/167vHXdc6fNXTJY-Id3UgRqPeE-c58q2ZHYyYRAaNcGY/edit

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But no matter how much money or how many awards films like “Black Panther” and “A Wrinkle in Time” amass, our research strongly suggests another reason they’re important: Children need a diverse universe of media images. And for the most part, they haven’t had one.

https://www.salon.com/2018/03/10/why-it-is-so-important-for-kids-to-see-diverse-tv-and-movie-characters_partner/

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This is an essay I especially enjoyed because it was written by a White woman. White feminists have been largely silent about the feminism of Black Panther, although last year they were lauding the feminism of Wonder Woman, as being of benefit to ALL women, and  for being so groundbreaking. This essay breaks down how Black Panther gets it right, and where WW went wrong, on this particular issue. 

There are far to many White women, who don’t see WoC as women, forget we exist when it comes to issues involving feminism, believe  their experiences as women are universal to ALL women, that we all want the same things, and that Pop cultural media is going to affect us all the same way. They don’t ever seem to remember that we are not White, refuse to take into account that our priorities may be wholly different from theirs, and that representation for one group of women IS NOT representation for all women.

 

Black Panther is a more feminist film than Wonder Woman. And I’m going to show you how.

The Feminism of Black Panther vs. Wonder Woman

 

In spite of their lack of superpowers, Nakia and Okoye more than hold their own, using their adept fighting skills (not to mention resourcefulness with a wig and a high heel) to fend off Klaue’s men. When they follow him into the streets, they get a helpful assist from T’Challa’s sister, Shuri, who drives a high-powered car remotely from her Wakandan tech lab. Ultimately, they fail to bring Klaue to justice—T’Challa allows CIA agent Everett Ross (Martin Freeman) to take him into custody—but the staging of the showdown, with all four working together as a cohesive unit, subtly illuminates how groundbreaking the movie is within the Marvel universe. Black Panther confidently performs the tricky balancing act of writing fully realized women characters into a traditionally male-centered narrative by wholeheartedly believing that they are integral to the storytelling.

https://slate.com/culture/2018/02/black-panthers-feminism-is-more-progressive-than-wonder-womans.html

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Black Panther is a more feminist film than Wonder Woman. And I’m going to show you how.

The Feminism of Black Panther vs. Wonder Woman

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In the Intercept piece, one group of Afro-Brazilians coordinated a rolezinho to watch Black Panther at one of Rio de Janeiro’s most exclusive high-end shopping malls, Leblon. As the writer notes, Leblon is couched in one of the most affluent areas in Brazil and is also a predominantly white space in a country where the majority of the population now identifies as black or mixed race.

https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/black-panther-inspires-black-brazilians-to-occupy-white-1823524868

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It is uncomfortable for many institutions to even broach the subject of the museum’s complicated relationship with audiences of color, but Black Panther has created an impeccable opportunity for institutions to begin a dialogue with their community. So many people will see this film; the scene may only reinforce their conception of museums, or it may open their eyes to the realities of the complicated relationship between the universal museum and colonialism, and museums need to be prepared to actively engage with this topic rather than avoiding the uncomfortable truths that are now out in the open on cinema screens.

Why museum professionals need to talk about Black Panther

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That unflinching eye is what makes Ryan Coogler’s first two feature films, Fruitvale Station and Creed, such deeply resonant and truthful evocations of the Black experience in America. His protagonists, a drug dealer and a boxer, respectively, are foundational archetypal figures in 20th and 21st century America’s perception of blackness.

http://birthmoviesdeath.com/2018/02/13/the-fleshing-out-of-black-masculine-archetypes-in-ryan-cooglers-films

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I began to recognize that white people and institutions writ large had never fully recovered from the lies they told themselves to put black people on par with the footstools and sets of china they bequeathed to their children. In college, I was growing into a consciousness I did not yet have words for, so I simply wore my pink and green T-shirt that proclaimed “Black to the Future” on a plane while wearing microbraids, listening to Eric B. and Rakim on my Walkman and making Don’t even try it! eyes with the people in first class. This was pre-internet and I didn’t realize there was a nascent movement that captured exactly how I was feeling.

https://theundefeated.com/features/watching-black-panther-commentary-sharing-wakanda-guarding-against-cultural-appropriation/

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The Characters

https://blavity.com/eric-killmonger-is-not-a-super-villain-he-is-a-super-victim-of-systemic-oppression

http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/how-black-panther-crafted-erik-killmongers-compelling-arc.html

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/black-panther-how-tchalla-avoids-toxic-masculinity-1085741

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/on-killmonger-black-panther-s-american-villain

https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/2/20/17032166/tchalla-killmonger-black-panther-debate-wakanda-politics

Editorial: You Love Killmonger At The Expense Of Black Women

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/global-opinions/wp/2018/03/01/forget-the-abusive-killmonger-wakandas-women-are-black-panthers-true-black-liberators/?utm_term=.40a4a0cd6a8d

https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/2/20/17033330/winston-duke-mbaku-black-panther-breakout

https://blavity.com/eric-killmonger-is-not-a-super-villain-he-is-a-super-victim-of-systemic-oppression

 

 

The Politics

)ne of the more interesting dialogues I’ve seen come out of viewing this movie is the response from immigrants, especially first generation ones African and Asian immigrants, who seem to have found some type of resonance in Killmonger’s character, outside of his revolutionary ideas, (not that people haven’t had a lot to say about that too.

https://www.tor.com/2018/02/28/building-bridges-black-panther-and-the-difference-between-rage-and-revolution/

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/marvel-black-panther-review-race-empire-tragic-heroes

http://progressivearmy.com/2018/02/18/important-moment-black-panther/

https://www.gq.com/story/black-panther-and-the-search-for-home

http://africasacountry.com/2018/02/i-have-a-problem-with-black-panther/

https://thebaffler.com/latest/black-comic-universe-philo

How Black Panther Asks Us to Examine Who We Are To One Another

https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/2/16/17020582/black-panther-marvel-mcu-history-iron-man-captain-america

https://www.vox.com/conversations/2018/2/26/17040674/black-panther-afrofuturism-get-out

 

The Look

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2018/02/22/black-panther-choose-your-weapons/

http://www.vulture.com/2018/02/black-panther-costume-designer-ruth-e-carter-on-8-looks.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2018/02/why-fashion-is-key-to-understanding-the-world-of-black-panther/553157/

 

 

 

 

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