Karin Alejandra Rosemblatt: Wakanda Mexicana
May 08, 2018 History
UMD associate professor of history explores the connections between her new book and "Black Panther."
"I saw Black Panther just weeks after the publication of my new book, which assesses the work of intellectuals committed to the well-being of Native peoples. The Science and Politics of Race in Mexico and the United States, 1910-1950, echoes the themes of Marvel’s blockbuster in exploring the tension between more insular identities and broader solidarities, local custom and global science.
"Black Panther focuses on the African polity of Wakanda, a place with vibrant traditions and artistry but also—surprisingly, given its reputation as a backward African nation—extraordinary scientific and technological sophistication. Wakanda has kept quiet about its intellectual and natural riches, including its extensive supply of the valuable metal Vibranium. By avoiding contact with the outside world, it has remained moored to its own distinct past. It nevertheless possesses resources and knowledge that humanity as a whole urgently needs. Panther’s plot hinges on whether the Wakandan leader T’Challa will continue on this insular path or lend Wakandan expertise to the disenfranchised peoples of the globe."
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