BLACK PANTHER REVIEWED! THE PAN-AFRICAN PANEL OF ARTISTS, ORGANISERS, AND ACADEMICS RESPOND (MF GALAXY 158)



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Marvel’s Black Panther is a global sensation. As of Saturday, March 3, 2018, only two weeks and two days into its release, the Ryan Coogler/Joe Robert Cole film has grossed $US898 million worldwide. Within its first week it had outgrossed what DC’s Justice League took three months to earn, and the entire US runs of Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, The Incredible Hulk, the first Captain America, and the first two Thor films. It had the fifth-highest opening of all time and the third-highest four-day opening ever.

Of course, money isn’t everything, but the astonishing success of a film that is 100% obviously Africentric, starring African characters played by African actors, written by two African writers and directed by an African director, is game-changing. It negates in sky-writing every Hollywood executive who ever claimed that US-made movies about and by Africans could not make money outside the US.

And this is within the same 12-month period in which the African-made, Africentric film Get Out, shot on a budget of a paltry $4.5 million, earned a quarter of a billion dollars globally.

We’ve all seen the photos of African-Americans and African-Canadians wearing gorgeous African clothing to watch the premiere of the movie, and it’s clear that the film is inspiring generations of young and older global Africans the way that Star Wars inspired filmmakers and fans worldwide.

There are countless articles and podcasts and interviews about Black Panther, and some people have posted Wakanda curricula online—in fact, mine will be online at ministerfaust.com soon. And obviously the film has its detractors, too.

To discuss the film I asked a wide range of global African writers, filmmakers, academics, and political organisers to tell me their own experience of the film, its characters, its social significance, and its likely impact on Africentric filmmaking. On today’s episode of MF GALAXY, you’ll hear:

  • Zig Zag Claybourne, author of The Brothers Jetstream
  • Science fiction short story writer K. Ceres Wright,
  • DeWayne Copeland, co-creator and producer of the superhero web-series CV Nation
  • Founder and editor in chief of Black Girl Magic literary magazine Kenesha Williams
  • Buk Arop, president of the South Sudan Development Foundation
  • Science fiction novelist and horror filmmaker Jeff Carroll,
  • Greg Tate, musician, producer, culture commentator, and author of Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture
  • Elysium author Jennifer Marie Brissett
  • Lateef Martin, founder and creative director of Miscellaneum Studios
  • The president of the Council of Canadians of African and Caribbean Heritage in Edmonton, Siyani Nsaliwa
  • Carole McDonnell, author of Wind Follower
  • Editor of Black and Brown Planets: The Politics of Race in Science Fiction, Isiah Lavender III
  • K. Tempest Bradford, science fiction author, media critic, and podcaster of Originality
  • Photographer, educator, and writer Jean-Sebastien Boncy
  • Culture commentator Robert Monroe, Jr., and
  • Poet, playwright, dramatist, and post-colonial theorist Mukonzki wa Musyoki
And for today’s episode, like last week’s show, I’m offering the bonus content for free. Find part 2 of today’s episode right now at patreon.com/mfgalaxy.

A reminder that this show is 100% spoilers.

Janelle Monae - “Django Jane”
Zacari + Babes Wodumo - “Redemption”
Ghanaian Architect David Adjaye
African-American Artist David Hammons
Ethiopian Artist Julie Mehretu

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