Notes (March #3)

Zora Neale Hurston: “The realization that Negroes are no better nor no worse, and at times just as boring as everybody else, will hardly kill off the population of the nation.”

Black Panther #35: Wakandans in BP, like the Amazons in Wonder Woman, are exceptions. African nations, at least as they are usually presented to us, are poor and corrupt. Women are weak and defenceless. In both cases, evolutionary ascent requires external intervention. To achieve collective greatness, some merely have to be born white and male. Black people need vibranium. Women need special dispensations from Zeus. Both films complicate fictional representations of blackness and womanhood while reinforcing existing stereotypes. (Africans are inherently tribal; African Americans, even when they have been educated at MIT, are violent thugs; women are irrational, etc.)

BP #37: Unfair parallel. In Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) a savage group ascends to a higher cultural plane after the introduction of a chemical agent.

BP #38: Physical imperfection as a marker for evil. In both BP and WW, secondary villains are either disabled or disfigured. The ancient view of disability as divine punishment. The mark of Cain.

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