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Marvel's Black Panther Rules. Literally

Linked by Paul Ciano on December 3, 2017

Chadwick Boseman, from an excellent interview with CNET’s Connie Guglielmo:

It’s just this tremendous opportunity, not just for me but for all of us really to get out of our boxes. It’s not just black people getting out of their boxes. Everybody is excited about the opportunity to do something that we should have already done. People are excited about seeing new stuff, but I think they’re extra excited about seeing stuff they should have seen already.

It pulls from various ideologies. It pulls from the blacks-in-science idea, from a nationalist idea, it pulls from a collective-world idea. There’s something that will influence people in a particular way. It took all of this time to come to fruition in a larger way, but now the world is right, the world is able to receive that. It’s just a special thing.

There was one kid [fighting cancer] who used the Black Panther as sort of his inspiration. He saw himself as a Wakandan, he saw himself as having the spirit of Wakanda in his fight. The fact that he chose you, that’s the world he lives in. It does mean a lot.

People think about how race has affected the world. It’s not just in the States. Colonialism is the cousin of slavery. Colonialism in Africa would have it that, in order to be a ruler, his education comes from Europe. I wanted to be completely sure that we didn’t convey that idea because that would be counter to everything that Wakanda is about. It’s supposed to be the most technologically advanced nation on the planet. If it’s supposed to not have been conquered – which means that advancement has happened without colonialism tainting it, poisoning the well of it, without stopping it or disrupting it – then there’s no way he would speak with a European accent.

If I did that, I would be conveying a white supremacist idea of what being educated is and what being royal or presidential is. Because it’s not just about him running around fighting. He’s the ruler of a nation. And if he’s the ruler of a nation, he has to speak to his people. He has to galvanize his people. And there’s no way I could speak to my people, who have never been conquered by Europeans, with a European voice.

For me, technology is not about gadgets. Technology is essentially your ability to enhance your lifestyle beyond the norm. What I would love to see is for technology and nature to find a way to merge. If that happens in our society, we will have gone to a different place and we can advance the species.

If we’re going to build a rocket to go to outer space and go to the moon, how do we do that in a way where it doesn’t destroy the Earth? How do we build weapons that won’t destroy the Earth? Or the better way, how do you live in a society that doesn’t need weapons at all? How can we advance in this computer age without having landfills filled with the parts from those things? That to me, that’s advanced.

I’m looking forward to this one.

Paul Ciano

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