Southern California Library

Where Making History Is a Struggle

The Courage to Invent the Future

by Rachel Herzing

Why must even our wildest fantasies about what Black people could create be tethered by the very structures and forces that have been at the heart of our domination, repression, and that have fueled our premature death?

Eulogy for Wakanda/The King is Dead

by Dylan Rodríguez

Wakanda has been a beautiful nightmare: a gathering of tribal royalty that protects the Afro-analogue of a ruinous, decadent, negligent, technocratic, imperially benevolent (counter-) Civilization that simultaneously and always undermines, polices, and discredits the possibilities—and actually existing forms—of (armed) revolutionary Black liberation struggle.

Dream Work: Fantasy, Desire, and the Creation of a Just World

by Stephanie Batiste

In an openly white supremacist political moment in the U.S. where racism exudes from the highest office, where Republicans have escorted or beaten Black men and women out of political rallies, celebrated openly racist violence, and then appointed a Black person to stand behind 45 to hypocritically verify his lack of racism, it is very nice to see Black people loving themselves.

Notes on Wakanda

by Vijay Prashad

You can dream of Africa—picture it as a land of poverty or a land of safaris, but you have a hard time seeing it for what it is, a place of human beings with all their complexities trying to make their own history.

What Don’t Make Dollars Don’t Make Common Sense

by Damien Sojoyner

U.S. film has always been about race, economics, gender, sexuality and hierarchies....And now we have Black Panther, which arrives on the doorstep of the United States during a time of severe crisis.

A Crisis in Hollywood: Black Panther to the Rescue?

by Gerald Horne

The first question to consider when discussing Black Panther is what is happening to Hollywood itself?

Compton Is Like Wakanda…

by Shana Redmond

We know of its lush landscapes and rich resources, cutting-edge technology and skilled warriors but what does Wakanda sound like? What are the musical creations that define its culture and populations?

Killmonger’s Captive Maternal Is M.I.A.

by Joy James

The grandmothers would have been the bio-vibranium partnered with the meteorite that took all of the credit for the wonders of Wakanda. If T’Chaka’s mother were alive, she would have stood down Queen Ramonda to rewrite the prodigal son narrative and make the absent mother the heralded returnee.

The Price of the Ticket

by Mone' Anderson and Erica Meiners

The work of the world is “as common as mud” and is done by women...but in Black Panther the women do not love each other the way they love the central man in their lives, or the heteropatriarchal state he controls.

Jackson, Wakanda: Black Liberation and Technology

by Jackie Wang

While much attention has been paid to the film’s implicit politics and how the film represents both Africans and African Americans, I have not encountered much commentary on the film’s tech politics …

All Power to the People

by Max Felker-Kantor

Black Panther offers an opening to think about real world struggles for liberation by interrogating the film’s portrayal of the theme of community empowerment and its lack of engagement with underlying questions related to state violence.