The Black Panther movie had its UK premiere this week. This event once again demonstrated why this film is no ordinary superhero movie. This, as well as other premieres saw cast and fans alike arriving in African attire. Across the world, funds are being raised to give disadvantaged children the opportunity to see the film for free. The release of the film’s soundtrack caused a stir yesterday and is sure to have a powerful impact on the music charts. In addition to the excitement and acclaim, the Twitter has ignited a couple of Twitter diaspora wars, or ‘black people from around the world arguing about what they have in common‘. Nevertheless, the emergence of this film is undeniably a momentous occasion for black storytelling. Black Panther is arguably within the genre of afrofuturism, a movement comprised of stories that combine African culture with technology and innovation to explore alternate black realities and evoke (or invoke) black futures.
Storytellers play a crucial, and sometimes overlooked role in society, by putting images before our eyes, or in our minds as with novellists, they play a role in crafting our beliefs in what is and what can be. Just as with the work of Claude McKay and Dhonielle Clayton in this week’s issue, Black Panther is important not only for its narrative but also for the things it exposes in our real world. The nation of Wakanda has echoes of advanced African kingdom’s from history as well as the emerging tech scenes in places like Lagos and Nairobi. Even T’Challa’s dual existence in the world of Wakanda and the outside world speaks to the experience of many in the African Diaspora.
Hopefully we will all be able to head out to enjoy the Black Panther movie in the coming weeks. But what I’m most excited about is is the next 2-10 years and Black Panther’s true legacy in the future stories it inspires.
Esther Kuforiji, Editor
Continue reading this week’s issue here.