FEATURE ARTICLE

Abi Adegboye, PhDTuesday, April 10, 2018
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DID KILLMONGER HAVE TO DIE?
REVISITING THE RIFT BETWEEN AFRICANS AND AFRICAN-AMERICANS

akanda for all its futuristic, optimistic, and euphoric portrayal of an African vista, dropped the ball on the relationship between Africans and African Americans.

Killmonger, the character representing African Americans, though a prince, was first abandoned by the Wakandan King, sought and got revenge, is thwarted, and in the end, chose suicide over reconciliation. This portrayal leaves us despairing over healing the rift between Africans and African Americans. Hence, we must ask the question, did Killmonger really have to die?

Arguably, a different ending may have presented a more encouraging foreshadowing of pan-Africanism.

For instance, he could have married Shuri and become firmly grafted into the ruling house.

Second, he was a prince in his own right and could have stayed to challenge T'Challa for headship at the next battle for kingship.

Third, he could have become Wakanda's first ambassador to the world. As Wakanda emerged from its imposed isolationism, who better to build a bridge between Wakanda, African-Americans, and the world than someone who's lived both sides? And in doing so, Killmonger would have restored unity to the ruling house and honor his father's ideology.

However, while Wakanda didn't fulfill our pan-African dreams on screen, it did in real life. Both African-Americans and Africans embraced the movie; even those who typically disdain all things African went scrambling for appropriate outfits to wear to the theatre. We all came together to celebrate our Africanness.

In the same vein, let the love continue...

  • Stop the name-calling on both sides: Don't call anyone a jungle baby nor Akata. Instead, accept the basic humanity of all.

  • Distrust the hype: The propaganda to discredit Black people is so thick that you'd have to cut through it with a chainsaw. Choose to disbelieve the negativity and get to know individuals for who they are.

  • Let go of stereotypes: I remember meeting Anita and thinking she was a loud so and so, then I got to know her, and we became fast friends till today.

  • Abandon intra-racism: whereas you believe Africans are here to steal jobs from African Americans. There's enough racism out there without us creating schisms amongst us.

  • Reach out: Get to know folks on the other side of the pond and trust to the extent that they are trustworthy. When we get to know each other, we begin to collaborate, and build stronger institutions and systems.

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