The major reason most black people in the Americas will relate is going to be clear when you see the film.
What follows are 3 specific reasons I connect to one of the villains instead of the heros.
If you have not seen the film yet, STOP READING.
There is no way to write this without including plot lines
I’m warning you
STOP READING if you have not seen it yet.
At first, Killmonger appeared to be a regular hired criminal but as soon as Klaw asks him “Are you sure this is Vibranium?” it’s obvious some secret is attached to this character. (For those who read the comics, yes I realize you already knew this, but a lot of people have not read them.)
Going into the theater, I imagined I would gravitate toward one of the female leads, Shuri, Nakia or Okoye,
so I was surprised when I started to relate more to … A VILLAIN like N’jadaka.
and here’s how that connection happened:
Killmonger is the son of a wealthy man of influence in a nation he’s never lived in or even visited.
He is the son of a people he’s never known. He’s never experienced the sounds of his family’s home, or been given the chance to learn alongside his countrymen and family. He never got the chance to bond and feel the support of his cousin T’chala
… and he is ANGRY AF that there were people who knew about his existence who never tried to bring him home.
All of that… is exactly what I feel about my biological father and the members of his family who know that I exist.
Yes, he is wealthy.
He is influential.
He comes from the indigenous people of his homeland who’ve lived there for hundreds and hundreds of years. Rooted. Original people.
And he and his brothers and sisters know that I was born and they know I have lived without the chance to understand the culture of my father’s people,
Never been able to live in a land surrounded by people who would embrace me and give me that undeniable sense of home without any question. Most of my family here in the states may feel angered by this because they don’t understand what it feels like to grow up in a land where you are ALWAYS the “other.” (I am mixed and my family here is white)
It’s not always a daily experience, but it is often enough that I am reminded.
Verbal assaults and hate against my father’s people, Any sign that I or people like me insist on our rights to speak out minds, to ASSERT AGENCY over our lives, is seen as “aggression.”
I could go on and on, and I will later about the ways I have felt like the “other” in this land of the so-called “free.”
Yes, we are not slaves, we are not servants, but we also are not afforded EQUALITY. and perhaps that’s the part of “free” that the deniers of our anger don’t understand.
So when I say I am ANGRY AF that my father’s family never gave me that chance to learn from them, understand what it is.
MILITARY (well almost)
When I was 18, I had met with the Marines, they came to my home, I was seconds away from signing my life away to them… and paused and said No.
But my mission was to use the military in a similar way to Killmonger, but without being a murderous assassin. I planned to be a pilot and with the ASVAB score I had received, I was offered any job I wanted.
I wanted to learn to fly and to use that one day to get any where in the world I wanted, including home.
The only thing that stopped me from going all the way was when they said I don’t get to choose which locations I am stationed at. I like directing my own path more than the typical military soldier perhaps, OR at least I was less willing to give that away.
I understand Killmonger and I felt his anger and abandonment, because my loss of connection is as recent as his. However, even if your direct ancestor to the continent was taken away 200 years ago, I am sure you’ll feel or at least understand his desire to RECONNECT.
and I hope we all do … in HEALING ways, the healing ways that ancestors deserve.
Salam. Om Sabaali. Peace.
Leave a comment. Do you relate to N’jadaka? or Okoye? Shuri? Tchala? Mbaku? Nakia? or someone else?
How has the film impacted you?
what will you take with you after entering the world of Wakanda?