By: Malik Pollard
“WE KNOW IT’S MAGICAL”, says the incomparable Angela Bassett on the Purple Carpet for the World Premiere of ‘Black Panther Wakanda Forever’. Yes, it is very magical to dream that there is a place (now two places) on land and in the sea where Black and Brown people are flourishing in Technology, Culture, History, and Community. ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever‘ takes us back to this magical land while introducing us to another; and both are important as it gives us inspiration and aspirations in so many ways. In addition, let us not forget that though a fictional place, Wakanda is a representation of dynasties and communities that have existed within the African Diaspora whose stories just haven’t been properly told. “I love that people of the Diaspora, The African Diaspora get their own fandom with this movie; And people not of the African Diaspora get to participate in a fun narrative that they themselves can recognize similarities with their own circumstances in…” – Winston Duke.
If for no other reason, Wakanda should inspire us to build businesses, communities, and wealth where the Black Dollar is continually recycled in over and over again in it’s community. Ironically, such “Wakandan” communities do exist: Cities like Atlanta, GA., and Waldorf, MD. immediately come to mind. Ironically, folks in the DMV (Washington D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area often refer the the small (but growing) city of Waldorf as Wakanda. The suburb of Washington D.C. in the County of Charles County, MD has become a hub for Black Businesses and the surge has allowed Charles County to overtake Prince Georges County as one of the richest counties for Blacks in America.
“Wakanda Forever” may have a similar function as the Hebrew “L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim” — “Next year in Jerusalem.” This phrase is sung at the conclusion of the Ne’ila service during Yom Kippur, at the end of the Passover Seder. It is a phrase said throughout the Jewish Diaspora that, from the outside looking in, seems to have two purposes: to indicate the Diaspora’s return to their ancestral homeland, and to link the Diaspora under a common, cultural umbrella, so no one is forgotten. If this is a wrong reading, please reach out to correct. Using L’Shana Haba’ah B’Yerushalayim as a parallel, maybe “Wakanda Forever” is a signal to remind us that we spring from a common origin point, that those of the African Diaspora are one people and that, one day, we will be able to also return to our ancestral homeland.Shawn Taylor The Nerds of Color
It’s been four years and a few weeks since Marvel’s Black Panther leveled the pop-sphere with a $1.344 billion USD box office and a legion of new and reinvigorated fans. The hope is that Wakanda Forever will be a call to action and the continuation of building flourishing communities across the African Diaspora.