Through the years there have been a range of arguments posited about how much people of African heritage should retain of the values passed on by our forebears in our lives in Diaspora communities. I haven’t seen the film Black Panther, but I sense that the film’s aesthetic is partially aimed at addressing this ongoing debate, from trailers I’ve seen and interviews I’ve read from the film’s artistic contributors.
Not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade, I think it’s a good thing that such an artefact is receiving so many plaudits and so much attention from the mainstream popular culture. I would like to hope that the film will open minds enough for other African derived cultural statements to find international audiences and prime time exposure.
It is indeed promising that there are more opportunities for people of African descent to tell their stories in their own ways, without having to make apologies or excuses for having different values from those who control the purse strings and access to the global media.
Maybe the next stage of progress in this direction should include the output of more organisations set up with the cultural mindsets of Africans from the continent and its Diaspora communities. It feels like we’ve been doing our best to fit in with a cultural agenda set up by folks of European heritage in particular – for a very long time.
There are many things that humans from all races, creeds and walks of life share in common. Perhaps we might have different ways of expressing those things. All of us are enriched when we are exposed to some of the diverse approaches to getting through life that have always been present in the world beneath the surface, simply waiting to be exposed