If you have left the Black Panther film and have not screamed “Wakanda Forever”, you might have some severe issues that need to be looked into. Here are a few reasons why, Black Panther was a stunning motion picture from beginning to end, Wakanda is shown as the most technologically advanced society on earth; the all-black cast was able to culminate tribal elements in conjunction with Afrofuturism while touching on political and social aspects of race. But it is important to notice that each of these reasons serve a larger purpose to the plot of the movie and African storytelling as a whole. The Black Panther story is similar to the story of Osiris, Isis, Horus, and Set. In the story Osiris would be T’Chaka, “Isis” would be Ramonda, “Horus” would be T’Challa, and “Set” would Eric Killmonger. After T’Chaka or “Osiris” is murdered he is sent to the ancestral plane, directly after T’Challa or “Horus” becomes king and defeated by Killmonger, he is later revived by his mother Ramonda or “Isis” and because Eric Killmonger is “Set” this is why he utters his last words under the beautiful Wakandan “Sunset”.
My first time seeing the movie I was not privy to this underlying message, but what I was privy to was the Malcolm X and Martin Luther King comparisons, many people were drawing. I think T’Challa is definitely Martin but to me, Killmonger would more so be a member of the Black Panther Party with a colonized mindset. A prime example of this colonized mindset was shown after Killmonger returned from the ancestral plane, he immediately told the female elders to burn all of the herbs that provide the strength of The Black Panther and when she questioned him about doing so, he began to choke her up off her feet. I believe the burning of the herbs symbolizes European colonialism burning the history of African culture and the physical abuse to that woman represents all the misogyny that went down in the Black Panther Movement with different male figures abusing black women, threatening them, and outright being sexist.
Although Killmonger’s goal was to empower all people of color, he was blinded by his self-hatred and pride stemming from a broken American system, but at the same time, his character served as the very conversation starter to bridge the relational gap between Africans and African Americans. Although Killmonger would not carry out his own legacy physically, T’Challa would take the legacy upon his shoulders, creating Wakandan outreach centers within African American communities. Personally, I thought this was an admirable move by T’Challa because he was able to take a dream Killmonger had and refine it with Wakandan resources in a non-violent manner. The perspectives I have provided are only, in fact, a small portion of the film’s layers that will have indeed have you saying “Wakanda Forever”.