Civic Imagination Project

The cultural resource I have decided to write about today is Marvel’s, Black Panther.

In Black Panther, Wakanda is an East African country that is the embodiment of a Utopia. Wakanda is a peaceful, and powerful nation that has isolated itself from the world, and therefore, kept out of all conflicts. Additionally, Wakanda is the most technologically advanced nation in the world.

Wakanda is considered a reimagined alternative to the current economic and political conditions in East Africa. Many countries in Africa are stricken by coups, terroristic attacks, disease/illness, economic issues, corrupt governments, and much more. Wakanda is an alternative to the famine, war, and troubles that the continent faces daily.

In the imagined alternative there are significant changes that would have to be made. First of all, Vibranium, a completely fabricated material would have to be spun into existence so East African countries could rapidly develop new technology. On a serious note, since Vibranium doesn’t exist, is that Africa would have to be given the resources needed to build itself from the ground up. A lot of countries are practicing democracies, but are further behind than “first-world” countries because those countries took advantage of Africa to get where they are today. A big change that would have to happen is those countries giving back to African countries, and funneling them with the opportunities they took. For example, the wealth European countries gained from enslaving African tribes/nations could be funneled back into Africa to help build back their communities. Not only that, but industrialization brought forth jobs and wealth to countries such as the United States, so creating spaces such as factories to help make jobs, but also increase the production of technology can greatly help Africa.

Elements of this alternative that are reflected in current conditions are as follows. Example #1: decolonizing since 1945. At the end of WWII, nearly every country in Africa was subject to colonial rule or administration. The founding of the UN has helped create a massive decolonization effort in Africa, which is now virtually free from colonial rule. Example #2: the UN has deployed more than 30 peacekeeping operations to African countries to help reduce war fronts within the continent.

Lastly, many countries, including the United States, have pledged millions of dollars to Africa, however, throwing money at an issue is not the way to solve it. Yes, money is what the world runs on, but without teaching proper reform, there will never be true change to the continent, bringing it closer to the utopia that we see in Wakanda. The old saying goes, “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Now, Africa has many incredibly talented minds in its country that are leading it to more and more glory every day, but without the assistance from countries that stole from Africa, it is likely that it will never restore itself to the glory it once was, as the birthplace for all mankind.


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