From the Left



Wakanda whenever? Black to the Afro-future

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

Wakanda forever!

No, I'm not talking about Wauconda, the Illinois town whose switchboard recently has lit up with prank calls seeking the home of comic book hero "Black Panther."

I'm talking about Wakanda, the fictitious African home of the black superhero which takes on a special importance of its own.

As a lifelong black science fiction nerd, I am delighted to see my long-imagined idea of an Afro-future come to life in the new Marvel-Disney movie "Black Panther."

Imagine the most technologically advanced nation in the world.

Imagine Wakanda's mechanical marvels of hyperloop rapid transit, maglev (magnetic-elevated) trains snaking through airborne tubes amid hoverbikes and spaceships shaped like dragonflies.

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Imagine that it is tucked away, hidden with the help of technology, and resourced by a heavily protected stockpile of vibranium, a metal that is strong enough to blow back with more energy than whatever hits it.

You don't have to imagine much of that if you've seen even the previews for "Black Panther" -- and most viewers appear to like it, judging by its record-breaking global box office release.

The almost entirely black-cast film broke through the $700 million mark in its second weekend of worldwide box office sales -- and appears headed like a laser to the exclusive $1 billion club of Hollywood blockbusters.

So let's just bury that notion that movies by and about black characters don't sell.


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