Notes (March #6)

BP #44: We want to see authorial intent in each frame. We imagine Coogler struggling to realise his artistic vision, at every turn battling studio executives and accountants, suits blind to art’s higher purpose, functionaries only interested in the bottom line.

BP #47: All Africas are imagined: yours, mine, Coogler’s.1

Jelani Cobb: “Africa—or, rather, ‘Africa’—is a creation of a white world and the literary, academic, cinematic, and political mechanisms that it used to give mythology the credibility of truth. No such nation as Wakanda exists on the map of the continent, but that is entirely beside the point. Wakanda is no more or less imaginary than the Africa conjured by [David] Hume or [Hugh] Trevor-Roper, or the one canonized in such Hollywood offerings as ‘Tarzan.'”

BP #48: Because Africa did not exist, it was necessary to invent her.

BP #55: How often in the Marvel Universe is a problem solved only by someone’s death or by the destruction of a physical object?2

“A nation is forged by a people with a common purpose and a bad memory.” Ernest Renan?

Antonio Damasio: “When one explains what a thing is, it helps to be clear about what a thing is not.”

Ernest Renan: “The fact of race, a fact of the greatest moment at the outset, has always been diminishing in importance. Race is not everything as it is amongst rodents and felines and no one has the right to go about the world examining men’s heads and then grabbing them by the throat, saying ‘you are of our blood; you belong to us!'”



1. Not all that is imagined is imaginary. All Africas are imagined; some Africas are real. Some real Africas were created; others were discovered. Imagining precedes deliberate creation, but it may also be a means of apprehension, a method of understanding reality.

2. As Ororo Monroe says in X-Men: Apocalypse (2016), “You can’t save the world just going around killing people.”