The Death of Wakanda: The Impact of Chattel Slavery on the Advancement of the Descendants of the African Enslaved.

Author:Baker, Bennie W.
Position:Critical essay

The fictitious nation of Wakanda is pictured in the movie Black Panther as a geographic location somewhere in Africa. Its resources were vaster than any other geographic location on earth. Its people were smarter, stronger, and more progressive. Its technological capacity was second to none. Needless to say, Wakanda was a jewel. To protect their systems, education, political, sociological, economic, as well as their very manner of life, the source of their power and status, vibranium, was to be concealed from the outside world. Thus, the very existence of the nation itself was clandestine.

The secret land of Wakanda could be fantasized by the readers of the 1966 comic as what might have been, even as a way of escaping what was. Janken (Janken 2010) recalls the violence and turmoil of the 1960s, a time of vivid imagery capturing racial hostility, mob and police violence against blacks and worse. The creators may have used their talents for producing imaginary worlds as a method to provide an escape from the reality of their readers' present world through various Marvel Comic products. However, the relevance of Wakanda possibly spoke to one audience while the wonder of it entertained another. It spoke to those who were subject to racial discrimination, brutal race-based violence and intimidation, and the continued unjust enforcement of Jim Crow laws as a reminder that the dream of Wakanda had been stolen.

There was a time and a place where the concept of a Wakanda was alive in the dreams and ambitions of the people of Africa. It was not only alive in their dreams but was attainable since the land was so rich in resources. Pheko (Pheko 2016) rightly observed that Africa is the home of most minerals that could be found in any other area of the world such as chrome, gold, diamonds, iron, uranium, vanadium, cobalt, oil, platinum, and the list goes on. This was an opportunity that European countries seized. According to Davidson (Davidson, 1980) southern Africa was stable when Europe was beginning to thrive. They took advantage of this stability to seize upon Africa's resources to support their fast growth. This was the pre-colonized Africa.

Many nations around the world rely upon the riches of Africa to sustain their economies, including the United States. Schaefer (Schaefer, 2006) claims that the United States relies on the resources of Africa for both economic and security purposes, and that this reliance is projected to increase in the coming...

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