As the date of the grandest cookout ever quickly approaches, its time to brush up on Black Panther’s family tree. Khary Randolph and colorist Erick Arciniega are here for the people. Here’s the official infographic detailing Wakandan royalty. Take a look-see. There’s no doubt about the multi-generational black excellence that is T’challa’s lineage.
I encourage you to accept Marvel Entertainment’s invitation:
Dive into Wakanda’s rich comic book history with the family lineage of its ruler, the Black Panther. Long live the king. 👑 (Art & Colors: @kharyrandolph & @erickarciniega) #BlackPanther pic.twitter.com/9JfCeXw0JK
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) February 9, 2018
I admit the “draw your family tree’ assignment in school was one of the worst ever. Watching classmates display family trees going back to the Mayflower (and beyond) reinforced my otherness. That feeling increased ten-fold as teachers rushed through the black kids. They worked hard to navigate conversation away from slavery at all costs.
Partially due to the gaping holes in my family tree; genealogy still fascinates me. I’m not alone. The trustest separator for those in the diaspora (particularly Black Americans), from Africans of the diaspora and the continent itself, is personal knowledge of heritage and genealogy.
The centuries-long deliberate destruction of the Black family structure (which continues worldwide) is still a hotly debated and controversial topic. Black Panther’s family tree is far more than just a comic origin story. It’s the uninterrupted lineage most black kids will never be able to create.
It’s a striking visual and all the more engaging for being rooted in Africa.
One of the compelling draws to Black Panther (for many) is seeing an African society unsullied by imperialism. Wakanda thrives, its people unhindered by the destructive force of colonialism. Just the idea of an African nation – with unbroken control of all its natural resources- eclipsing the rest of the world in wealth and technology is subversive. Black Panther as a character (and as a film) side-steps many of the barriers to discussing controversial topics like race, ethnicity, and imperialism.
Wakanda is fictitious. The nation’s wealth arises from a fictitious element. However, it is irrefutable that the world derives a significant portion of its wealth from the African continent. What the western world understands about the continent (and its people) wouldn’t fill a thimble.
Black Panther stands as a gateway to shift in mindset; an opportunity to view the continent through a more three-dimensional lens. Wakanda is not Africa, but it certainly fuels a more nuanced view of the whole.
Black Panther hits theaters on February 16, 2018. Are you prepared for the Revolution?