Thither art spoilers ahead. Continueth at thy own risk.
1. As a writer in the Trump and Black Lives Matter era, I would never write a black American character who is rightfully angry about racial injustice and believes in pan-African liberation but then be like “wayment…we can’t have this black dude with common sense radical ideas about black liberation being the hero…hmm…let’s make him kill a few black women and be like totally an asshole just to make sure audiences remember he’s a thug they are not supposed to actually like” (basically just to reduce a black radical politic to some “don’t turn into what you hate” rhetoric), only to later conclude the story with some “see, if we just build outreach organizations to teach black kids how to code, we’d get free” neoliberal bullshit.
But, hey, I guess that’s just me. I’m not the one making the big bucks, so what do I know, eh?
2. While we’re on that subject…the movie sets up a false choice between people power and elite power, a false choice that only really serves white supremacist hegemony.
3. So basically…in the Trump era, we literally have a black movie perverting black American anger and treating it as something that needs to be extinguished…and black folks are praising it as “deep.” I’m floored.
4. Why couldn’t they just let Erik Stevens/Erik Killmonger be a regular comic book baddie who wants to take over the world (instead of making him a mouthpiece for black radicalism and then using his character as an opportunity to shit on black radicalism)? Why couldn’t he just be a typical comic book douchebag?
5. So that one black American female character…the movie treated her death as though it was completely unimportant. Her life didn’t mean anything, huh?
6. This movie had folks rooting for the CIA to kill “bad” black folks (the black folks, mind you, who were going to share Wakanda’s advanced weaponry with oppressed POC all over the world). In a movie titled “Black Panther.” Yeah, that’s interesting.
7. But here’s one bright spot: The women warriors and Princess Shuri were simply glorious! Wonder Woman, who? They were the best thing about the movie. Okoye and Shuri have my heart.