Steppe Town, Wakanda

Wakanda Taught Me: My Biggest Takeaway from Black Panther

IIf I (re) learned anything from Black Panther it’s that I’m Black first. I don’t mean I’m a woman second. I mean I don’t feel the need to fly my Trini/ Bajan flag and act as though that is somehow separate from Blackness. I don’t need to prioritize a narrative that suggests Africans and Black Americans, traumatized on both sides of the globe, will hate and misunderstand one another for all eternity. I don’t disparage my Southern fam for their dietary habits or the twang in their speech. I don’t go out of my way to separate myself from my cousins because they reside in the projects or cozy up to well-off relatives that I barely know.

Our differences matter

Our differences matter and should be contextualized for the sake of understanding each other and acknowledging the worst off of us within cis hetero white supremacist patriarchal capitalism, so that we may be one another’s champions, but don’t fucking trip.

Black is Black is Black

Wakandans in Oakland would get the same treatment as the folks who live there and that’s what too many of us still don’t understand.

So like Wakanda forever

But you live in gentrified Brooklyn and the Dora Milaje can’t save your ass when them white People call the cops.

Steppe Town, Wakanda
Another view of Wakanda, the king's palace
Wakanda, the king's palace
Shuri's lab

We need each other

If our ultimate goal is to ensure no child ever grows up under the conditions that created Erick Killmonger, at SOME point we have to realize we need each other and that access for some will never mean equity for all.

I keep seeing shady posts about how we could have built Wakanda instead of paying to see a movie about it but the gag is there are microcosms of Wakandan creativity, leadership and innovation as well as Killmonger’s self-determination in every ‘urban’ city. The ‘feel good’ posts we share are the norm, not anomalies, they just don’t all get any traction or publicity.

To my Wakandans in spirit and my Killmongers in strategy (minus the misogynoir of course), keep going.

About the author

Tajh Sutton is a teaching artist, Published Author and noted speaker with a focus on Black Women, our children, feminism and communal mental health. Check her out at TajhSutton.com

 

All images courtesy of Marvel.

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