The cultural resource I have selected is the movie “Black Panther,” directed by Ryan Coogler and released in 2018. The movie presents an imagined alternative to the current cultural, social, and political condition of African Americans and Africans in the diaspora.
The movie takes place in the fictional African nation of Wakanda, which is technologically advanced and has never been colonized or exploited by outside forces. Wakanda is a utopian society that values tradition, innovation, and community, and has found a way to balance them. The movie centers around T’Challa, the newly crowned king of Wakanda, as he navigates the challenges of leadership and faces an outsider who threatens the nation’s way of life.
“Black Panther” presents an alternative to the current condition of African Americans and Africans in the diaspora, who have historically faced oppression, discrimination, and marginalization. The movie depicts a society in which people of African descent are not only free but thriving, with access to advanced technology, medicine, and education. In Wakanda, African culture is celebrated and respected, and people work together for the common good.
This imagined alternative would require technological and systemic change. The technological advancements in Wakanda allow for sustainable energy, advanced medical technology, and advanced weaponry that is used for protection rather than aggression. Wakanda’s technology is the result of the country’s decision to keep its resources and knowledge hidden from outsiders, allowing the country to innovate without interference. This technological advancement is necessary for the imagined alternative to exist.
Systemic change is also necessary for the imagined alternative to be realized. In Wakanda, the society is structured around community and tradition, with the king serving as a protector and guide. The society is egalitarian, with women playing important roles in the government, the military, and society as a whole. This is in contrast to the current condition of African Americans and Africans in the diaspora, who have historically faced systemic racism, discrimination, and marginalization. In order for the imagined alternative to be realized, systemic change would need to occur in the form of political reform, economic empowerment, and social justice.
While the imagined alternative presented in “Black Panther” is largely reimagined, there are elements of it that are reflected in current conditions. For example, the celebration of African culture and the empowerment of women are values that are becoming more widely recognized and celebrated in the African American and African diaspora communities. The use of technology for sustainable and community-based purposes is also becoming more widespread. However, the imagined alternative presented in “Black Panther” represents a utopian society that has yet to be fully realized in the real world.
In conclusion, “Black Panther” presents an imagined alternative to the current cultural, social, and political condition of African Americans and Africans in the diaspora. This alternative would require technological and systemic change, and while some elements of it are reflected in current conditions, it represents a largely reimagined society. “Black Panther” provides a hopeful vision of what could be possible and inspires people to work towards a better future.