Why Black Americans Empathize with Michael B Jordan’s Eric Killmonger over Boseman’s T’Challa

Photo: Marvel Studios

Because Eric Killmonger is a reflection of many Black American’s on a much deeper level than T’Challa. In fact, many Black American’s do not know T’Challa. They know Eric. This is why most Black Americans, more so than sympathize with him, empathize with him. They can put their lives into his shoes.

I’ve only seen the movie once (which is only important when talking about a movie nearing $900 million dollars worldwide and is #1 in the World…the world ya’ll…that people have seen two and three times.)

Saying this, I have only read two articles that brought up the real concerning the conflict between T’Challa and Killmonger (cited below). I liked that they put this conflict  in the movie because (as I believe one of the actors pointed out) there is a private conversation among Black Americans concerning the relationship between those who have been taken captive and those who have not. As I’ve stated on this blog time and time again, Africa is a continent with over 50 countries and even more nationalities of people. That said it’s impossible for a people to be called African as nationality because it does not specifically point to a place of origin. Which country in Africa are we talking about? Where in Africa can you claim? Who in Africa would claim you? Herein lies the conflict between Eric and T’Challa.

Here’s the phrase that has captured our hearts:

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Movie Quote: Eric Killmonger

Killmonger was left behind, left out and rejected from among his people. He was locked out of the greatness of Wakanda and forced to grow up in the gritty streets of Oakland. His struggle and longing for a place of belonging and nationhood is the exact sentiment of the Black American. This statement (“…bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships…”) is proof that he is a descendant of those who have been taken captive via The Transatlantic Slave Trade; a Wakandian by blood but rejected. Not privy to the knowledge and advancement of his homeland, Killmonger attended instead American Universities and studied his culture from a distance. Having grown up in America, not even Killmonger’s name is a reflection of his identity. His name is Eric which is not as exotic as T’Challa. It does not signify or denote any kind of place of origin. Eric also does not speak with an accent and uses language common to any Black American male growing up in the hood.

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Eric is angry but rightfully so. He has had to watch his people suffer while Wakanda has thrived with resources that could have helped them. Eric wears his rage concerning the mistreatment of his people like a garment and does not understand how to direct that energy in a way that is less destructive. He reminds me of the young black men standing on the corners, full of rage, but without a way to release it in a way that is productive. Given the proper guidance, education, and resources, I believe these are some of the most powerful men the so-called Black community has. While many of us drive by them, shaking our heads and sighing, these boys are absolutely fearless and, like I said, given the proper direction can be the warriors they are descendant from.

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While Killmonger’s temper gets the best of him, his desire to use the wealth of Wakanda as a way to help his people in America is a noble one (just don’t weaponize the vibranium by putting it into the hands of black people with no training in how to use it Killmonger. Train your people first lol.) For all of these reasons, and many more, I believe many Black Americans empathize and connect more so with Michael B. Jordan’s character than Boseman’s T’Challa. For many of us, Killmonger is the hero, choosing to die (symbolically and literally) with his people than to serve among those who have rejected him.

The first article I want to share is: “Are Black Americans Allowed in Wakanda?”

“Every time a Wakandan referred to Killmonger in the film, he was called an “outsider.” Even though he proved he was of Wakandan blood, he still wasn’t one of them. Killmonger grew up hearing stories about a home he’d never been to. He had knowledge of Wakanda’s wealth and culture but he had no access to it himself. While T’Challa was able to visit a lush, African landscape surrounded by his ancestors, Killmonger’s trip to his own ancestral plane led him back to an apartment complex, where he was mostly alone.”

Read more Here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/opinion-doggett-wakanda-racism_us_5a901b35e4b01e9e56baef3e

The second one is: Erik Killmonger Is Not A ‘Super-Villain,’ He Is A Super-Victim Of Systemic Oppression

“I refuse to see Killmonger as a super-villain. I see him as a super-victim of systemically oppressive forces, forces that forced him into a hyper-awareness of his dueled unwanted status in Wakanda and in America, due to having the blood of his mother, who was a descendant of black folks forced into the United States via the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade. This two-pronged othering serves as the source of his super-power. His super-power did not derive from radioactive spider bites like Spider Man, or mythological alien strength like that of Superman. Killmonger’s character harbors a super-power more potent than the fictive mineral Vibranium, housed exclusively in Wakanda: Killmonger is the possessor of un-tempered black rage….Killmonger’s black rage is my black reality, and I cannot see Erik Killmonger Stevens as a villain because it would mean seeing myself as a villain as well (and as a black man in America, I have been vilified enough.)

Read more Here: https://blavity.com/eric-killmonger-is-not-a-super-villain-he-is-a-super-victim-of-systemic-oppression

T’Challa and Huey next to Yoruba Tribal ruler in West Nigeria sitting on throne surrounded by elephant tusks.

Personally, I liked both T’Challa and Killmonger for different reasons and enjoyed the Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X undertones embodied in the characters. Marvel’s Black Panther came out around the same time Huey Newton and Bobby Seale founded The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and it is believed that X-Men is based on The Civil Rights Movement. Created in 1963, fans allege that Stan Lee wanted to create a comic that showed bigotry and racism via fantasy and that Magneto and Professor X are direct correlations of Martin and Malcolm. In Black Panther, T’Challa and Killmonger also seem to have the same correlation. Those who were fans of Malcolm will definitely be a fan of Killmonger.

Furthermore, prior to Stan Lee’s comic and the organizing of The Black Panther Party, the term “Black Panther” existed already. The 761st Tank Battalion was an independent tank battalion of the United States Army during World War II. The 761st was made up primarily of African-American soldiers, who by federal law were not permitted to serve alongside white troops. They were known as the “Black Panthers” after their unit’s distinctive insignia; their motto was “Come out fighting.”

Now, go watch the movie!!

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Introduce Yourself – Introducing Guest Author Shaun M Jooste

Welcome to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.

Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Shaun M Jooste. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.

What is your name and where are you from?

Shaun M Jooste, and I am from Cape Town, South Africa

Alright now. Africa is in the house yall. Shaun, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?

A large study / library in a large tower overlooking the lake. Cabin in the woods will do fine too.

What job do you think you’d be really good at?

Besides writing novels and games? Screenwriting for movies.

Sadgi: Book 3 of the Celenic Earth Chronicles is Available now on Amazon

 

Ohh. Yess. What was your childhood dream?

Becoming a published author was one, so I guess I can check that one off my list. Becoming a Formula 1 racer was another, and I guess I can check that off my list for a very different reason (too late for that now).

OK. What skill would you like to master?

In an ideal world? Mastering the natural elements like in my epic fantasy series, the Celenic Earth Chronicles.

What skill do you think you’ve mastered?

I still have a long road ahead. Every time I think I’ve mastered something, I realize I’ve only scraped the dust off the top. I think I’m pretty good at storytelling though.

I feel you. In your own words, what is humility?

Knowing your absolute potential and ability, without having to scream it out to the whole wide world and using it only to improve yourself even further.

I like that. Shaun, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?

Like my massive fortress and surrounding walls that I built on Minecraft. Castle on an island – bucket list item.

Not minecraft Lol. What’s your favorite drink?

Coffee to get the creative juices flowing, Sprite or Orange juice on a warm day, Shiraz for when the mood gets going.

What state or country do you never want to go back to?

Sadly, I only know South Africa. I don’t really know if all the other continents really exist.

Lol. What do you love most about living in Africa?

I love South Africa, specifically Cape Town, the most because of our wild diversity, not just in human culture, but also in fauna and flora. I love the landscapes and nature, it is just so wonderful.

Nice. I know you’re into music. What songs have you completely memorized?

Not so much songs as albums…Disturbed, Linkin Park, Evanescence, Bon Jovi, PVRIS, Skillet, Fall Out Boyz. I generally stick to an artist, get all their music and sing them to death.

Visit Shaun on the web at https://celenicearth.wordpress.com/

Does blogging help you to write?

Yes. When I wrote Celenic Earth Chronicles between 2002 and 2009, I was very much alone and isolated. No one knew what I was doing and what was going to be published. I was my own motivation. With Silent Hill: Betrayal in 2016, I started my blog and shared so many details while I developed the story and wrote the novel. It was so encouraging getting positive feedback and encouragement that it still motivates me to this day.

Who is your favorite writer?

I grew up with fantasy. Stephen Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant series, JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Raymond E Feist’s Riftwar Saga… they were my mentors.

When did you publish your first book? What was that like?

My answer for this is twofold. I had Windfarer first published by a self-publishing company in 2007. It was really exciting to get my work out there, but the trust and fear that the publisher wasn’t conning me was huge.

Then in 2016, I established my own publishing label, Celenic Earth Publications, and republished my fantasy series and published Silent Hill: Betrayal. It was great having all the creative control and putting my own work out like I wanted it.

Congrats on your publishing label! If you could live in a movie, which would it be?

If they adapted my epic fantasy series to film, it would be on Celenic Earth. I created that world, and I dearly want to live in it myself.

For existing movies, I would live in Hogwarts. Not study, live there. Like in one of the towers (see question 10 again. lol)

Cool beans. Shaun, married? How long?

Yes, I’ve been married to Tammy 7 years this August.

Awwue. Hey Tammy! Children?

Yes, I have two wonderful children. Nathan, my six year old son, and Avril, my two year old daughter. They inspire everything I do now.

Double awwue! What do you wish you knew more about?

Effective marketing strategies and promotion of books that actually translates into sales. Real sales.

I heard that. What do you think of the world we live in?

It needs more magic, or divine energy, or something. We are so focused on this industrial and technological ages, we’re losing touch with our souls and the divine. And I’m not talking yoga and meditation. We need to ignite that spiritual spark that lifts us up to… something higher.

Are you religious?

No. I believe in God, and was brought up Catholic until something happened when I was 25 and my eyes started to open up. I’m not fond of religion, or what some religions have done to this world. However, I am close to God in my own way and am very spiritual, and still classify myself as Christian, although no one else ever will. To me, religion and spirituality are very different, the first one being a swear word to me. I believe religion to be the heart of all evil… or rather, the way we as humans use it.

I’m not fond of religion either. Speaking of spiritual matters, what is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield.

What’s the most difficult thing about being a writer? The most exciting thing?

The most difficult – getting my novels out there. The most exciting – getting my novels out there. lol

Lol. I know that’s right. Why is writing important to you?

I tried living without it for 3 years while I was doing my degree. It led to some severe depression when I thought about what I gave up. Clearly I cannot live without it.

What do you love about yourself?

My intellect that comes up with these amazing stories, and my mental endurance and perseverance through everything I have been through. Also, I have heard I have beautiful eyes.

Lol! Alright handsome, watch out now. What don’t you like about yourself?

That I run out of energy way too quickly.

If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?

Again, mastering the elements. Pollution in the air, greenhouse effect, water crises, drought, earthquakes and tsunamis… all gone.

What genre do you write in, why?

I specialize in fantasy and horror, sometimes both at the same time. My epic fantasy novels have hints of horror, and my horror novels always have some fantasy elements in them. I grew up reading and watching fantasy, and I adore horror to the point where very few movies or games really scare me these days. So I immerse myself in those genres further with my writing.

Shaun, it was a pleasure. Thank you for spending this time with us!


Bio.

Shaun is the published author of the epic fantasy trilogy, the Celenic Earth Chronicles, and the horror novel, Silent Hill: Betrayal, which is based on the popular Silent Hill game franchise. He is also the screenwriter of the sci-fi space travelling screenplay, ‘The Space Drifter’, which was recommended by the 2015 Cinequest Screenwriting Festival.

Shaun is busy working on several writing projects, which includes the soon to be released romantic fantasy novel, ‘Dream Whispers’. He was appointed as an official Choice of Games author of text-based games, and expects to release an adventure novel in 2017. Silent Hill: Obversion is also to be expected to be released at the end of 2017, as well as his volume of almost 600 poems written over his adolescent years.

Under his publishing label, Celenic Earth Anthologies, several short story collections by various authors from around the world will be published. The Anthologies currently being edited and developed include ‘CEA Through the Dark’ (horror), ‘CEA No Boundaries’ (Cape Town NaNoWriMo collection), ‘CEA Into the Beyond’ (sci-fi) and CEA Past your Reality (fantasy).

Shaun has also been appointed as an online article writer for game reviews and announcements, namely for Pulse Entertainment U.K. and GameTyrant.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pulse Entertainment UK Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: https://thepulseentertainment.co.uk/author/shaunmjooste/
 
GameTyrant Game Reviewer, Interviewer and Announcements: http://gametyrant.com/?author=59003a0f440243b85ba72404

Are you a new (or not so new) author? Looking for more exposure? Learn more about my Introduce Yourself Feature HERE.

Black History Fun Fact Friday – Mostafa Hefny and The Race Card

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What if you identified as one race but because of geographical differences you were told you were another race? Even if your skin tone said otherwise? Is it right to determine race by skin tone alone? Does race itself even exist?

In today’s episode of Black History Fun Fact Friday, we will explore The Race Card and how it has handicapped the life of one man who is still fighting to reclaim his identity. He is quickly becoming an important part of history as his story tells us so much about race.

This Aug. 8, 2012 photo shows Dr. Mostafa Hefny in Detroit. Hefny, an Egyptian immigrant who lives in Detroit wants the U.S. government to classify him as black, not white. The Egypt-born Hefny, 61, says he's easily identifiable as a black man, but when he was admitted to the U.S. decades ago, he was classified on government papers as a white person. Hefny says he's a Nubian, an ancient group of Egyptians considered more African than Arab. According to government directive, a white person is defined as "a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East." (AP Photo/Detroit News, Max Ortiz) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT
Dr. Mostafa Hefny in Detroit.(AP Photo/Detroit News, Max Ortiz) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT)

Introducing Mostafa Hefny, an Egyptian Immigrant who came to the United States and was told he was white, despite his skin color. To understand this, let us first establish the U.S. racial classification system. The U.S. Census Bureau defines race as “a social category recognized by the United States and does not attempt to define race biologically, anthropologically, or genetically”. The Census Bureau recognizes five categories of race:

• White (people with origins in Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa,)
• Black or African American (Africa)
• American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian,
• Native Hawaiian
• Other Pacific Islander

Nicknames for race has also been applied to colors: White, Black, Red, and Yellow.

The census also includes a Hispanic ethnic category. It is an ethnic category rather than a race category because the Latino community is said to include many races, such as White, Black, Native American, Asian, and mixed. Keep in mind these are not classifications based on culture, land, or language, but skin tone alone. This means that anyone from Europe according to the lands designated for the specific color is considered white and anyone from Africa (according to the lands specified) is considered black.

In the ancient world, the Greeks, Romans, Israelites, Egyptians, Ethiopians, e.g. did not have racial categories. Rather people were divided according to their nationality. People from Europe may identify themselves as Irish, Russians, Greeks, Swedish, so forth and so on instead of simply whites. Likewise, people on the continent of Africa may refer to themselves as Ethiopians, Somalian’s, Nigerians, Egyptians, Israelites, Ghanaian’s, so forth and so on instead of simply blacks. The ancient Hebrews, Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Libyans didn’t speak of a place called Africa even though they were indigenous to that continent.

Since 1997, Mostafa Hefny, has been suing the U.S. government because when Hefny immigrated to America, the U.S. government told him he was no longer a black man. This is because according to the U.S. racial system of classification, we’re not supposed to realize that Egypt is in Africa, just that it is the Middle East, and as such anyone from the Middle East is considered White; obviously despite their skin tone.

“Dr. Hefny was a Bilingual Resource Teacher with Wayne County Regional Education Service Agency (Wayne County RESA) in Wayne, MI, USA for thirteen (13) years. When he stated on his employment records that he is black the Director of Human Resources sent him a letter which was copied to the Superintendent threatening him that his education career will be ruined if he did not change his racial classification on his employment records from black to white. A few days later one of the top administrators told him “If you ever say that you are black again no one will hire you and if hired you will be running from one job to the other for the rest of your life”. Even though Wayne County RESA provides support and consultant services to all of Wayne County which is 30% black, the Superintendent was white, his four Associate Superintendents were white, and 95% of the administrators and consultants were white.

Wayne County RESA did not fire Dr. Hefny, instead they denied him promotion twice, persecuted him, harassed him, called him nigger, and psychologically tortured him to the point that he left on social security psychiatric disability which lasted ten (10) years (1989-1998.) Additionally, he was hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals twice(1992 & 2000.) All the doctors who treated Dr. Hefny stated in their medical reports that his psychiatric injury was work related. When Dr. Hefny recovered and returned to the work force Wayne County RESA followed up on their threats and he was fired five times in one year.”

– Move On Petitions at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/justice-for-an-indigenous

How did Hefny respond? He was shocked when his government-issued identification classified him as “white.”

This Aug. 8, 2012 photo shows Dr. Mostafa Hefny in Detroit. Hefny, an Egyptian immigrant who lives in Detroit wants the U.S. government to classify him as black, not white. The Egypt-born Hefny, 61, says he's easily identifiable as a black man, but when he was admitted to the U.S. decades ago, he was classified on government papers as a white person. Hefny says he's a Nubian, an ancient group of Egyptians considered more African than Arab. According to government directive, a white person is defined as "a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East." (AP Photo/Detroit News, Max Ortiz) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT
(AP Photo/Detroit News, Max Ortiz) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUT

According to the Detroit News: “As a Black man and as an African, I am proud of this heritage. My classification as a white man takes away my black pride, my black heritage and my strong black identity.” – Mostafa Hefny

This begs the question, what is black and what is white? We use them for clarity, but are they colors or nations of people? What about other nations? Asians, Chinese, Japanese?

According to the Office of Management and Budget Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, citizens are designated as White if they have “origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa or the Middle East.” For this reason, because of Hefny’s geographical location, his classification makes sense within the context of America’s definition of race. Again, according to the U.S. racial system of classification, we’re not supposed to realize that Egypt is in Africa, just that it is the Middle East, and as such anyone from the Middle East can be considered White; obviously despite their skin tone.

“Egypt is on the coast of Africa. It is not some small village in Sweden.” – Paul Mooney

From the foundation of man, we have been divided according to our nations and lands. In Genesis Chapter 10, we find the Table of Nations. After the flood Noah and his sons and their wives were saved and from this family repopulated the Earth. How they were divided is found in The Table of Nations.

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Ancient Egyptian Wall Painting
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JET Magazine Cover, Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time”

Since Ham had the most descendants we are not going to go through every last one, but he birthed the African nations populating Africa and other parts of the “Middle East.” The word Ham in Hebrew is Khwam, and it means “hot, burnt, and black.” The first-born son of Ham, Cush, forms the Kushite nation. They were also called and known as the ancient Ethiopians. Ethiopia comes from the Greek word, Aethipos, which means, “burnt or black face.”  The Greeks applied this name to the people living south of Egypt. The name Egypt comes from the word Aegyptus though the Egyptians called themselves Khemet / Kemet, which is a variation of the Hebrew word Khawm (Ham).  It means, “People of the black land.”

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While many of us are already familiar with Ham’s sons, Shem’s descendants are not always acknowledged. Though not “Africans”, they were also black as were the Israelites who were often mistaken for Egyptians. Paul was mistaken for a black Egyptian (Acts 21:38), Moses passed as the grandson of Pharaoh for 40 years (Acts 7:22-23) and the messiah hid in Egypt:

“Now it’s very unlikely that Jesus would have been able to be HIDDEN in Egypt, if he had a very different color of SKIN from the people in Egypt.” – University of Birmingham historian, Dr. Mark Goodacre, BBC program called The Complete Jesus, 2001

 

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Statue of King Tut

DETROIT IMMIGRANT RACE

I am not sure where Henfy is today with his case. Last I read he was still fighting to be classified as black and this was back in 2012. The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, who visited Egypt in the 5th century B.C.E., described the Egyptians as black-skinned with woolly hair and anthropologist, Count Constatin de Volney (1727-1820), spoke about the Egyptians that produced the Pharaohs.  He later paid tribute to Herodotus’ discovery when he said:

“The ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same type as all native-born Africans.  That being so, we can see how their blood, mixed for several centuries with that of the Romans and Greeks, must have lost the intensity of its original color, while retaining nonetheless the imprint of its original mold.  We can even state as a general principle that the face (referring to The Sphinx) is a kind of monument able, in many cases, to attest to or shed light on historical evidence on the origins of the people.”

How do you think race influences our society today?

14 African Countries Still Forced by France To Pay Colonial Tax

“An article written by Mawuna Remarque Koutonin, peace activist and editor of SiliconAfrica.com discussed this act. The writer drew attention to the bad influence of French on the African continent and how they are still subjected to pay colonial tax for the benefits of slavery.” Read the entire article at the link below. Just thought I’d share some “news you can use” this rainy Tuesday afternoon. Good time to spend reading and researching. Knowledge is Power. Power is Truth. Truth is Freedom:

S / O to South Africa!

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So yall know every now and again I check to see who stopped by the PBS Blog from across the water. I say every now and again because I try not to get too caught up in the stats every single time I post. I just don’t want to get distracted. I prefer to be lead naturally toward post ideas without the influence of how little or how great the views are. So I’ve organized my thoughts to take a look at them only enough to stay in tuned, to stay aware but not to depend on. So anyway, when I noticed more views from outside countries I did a blog series where I gave them a shout out. Only because other countries don’t get the same representation as America does. I decided then to shine some light on my viewers from across the water, those outside of the U.S. Make a long story short, I’m sitting here in the late hours drafting tomorrow morning’s post and decided to stroll on over to my stats. This is when I noticed I’ve received a total of 65 views from yesterday (7 / 30) from South Africa alone. Now yall know they deserve a shout out! I know some of you veterans out there are used to this but I’m really excited to have so many people from one place to support this blog and from Africa of all places is icing on the cake! I guess you can call it a milestone. I didn’t set out for this specifically, but I am always excited to reach as many people as I can. Even if their eyeballs slightly brushed upon the page its really cool to see just how many people viewed your blog and I want South Africa to know that I appreciate your support. I also appreciate everyone who supports this blog by sharing my posts, participating, commenting, and reading in silence.