What Would You Have Wakanda Do about It?

In Edwardo Pérez & Timothy E. Brown (eds.), Black Panther and Philosophy. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley. pp. 32–41 (2022)
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Abstract

This chapter examines the debate on how Wakanda should respond to global injustice, Black Panther illustrates various issues regarding the nature of justice and the types of injustices we can inflict upon one another. Perhaps bearing witness to colonial epistemicide around them stoked Wakandans' strong impulse to protect their knowledge at all costs. In African philosophy, scholars often analyze or draw from proverbs and language use as a way to explore moral and political principles within an oral tradition. Ifeanyi Menkiti argues that proverbs and wisdom within African thought and tradition uphold mutuality and the sense of not holding one's self others. Yet, despite what T'Challa says in his speech to the United Nations at the end of the film, his decision to "no longer watch from the shadows" appears to be motivated by the need to help, not by a sense of oneness with all of humanity, as understood through African philosophy.

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