The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Watching Black Panther

On opening weekend, thirty-seven percent of North American movie goers will be African America [let’s just say Black]. Before today, fifteen percent had never bothered to see Marvel movies. Come rain, come shine. Why? Too white. A sprinkle of racism and white supremacy in real life, makes fantasy punishingly preposterous. “Black folks ain’t paying to underwrite and entertain their own systematic denigration.” Still, thirty-five percent will be unambiguously white. But who cares? I am African [Nigerian-rowdy]. Dressed in a leather jacket (I like to play it cool, under the radar. Ethnically-ambiguous). But by God it pleases me something fierce to see the world pay particular attention to Black Panther, to Africa, to topical stratums of the botched rapport between Africans (allegorically, this is T’Challa) and African Americans (Killmonger). Between Blacks and whites. Marvel and DC fanatics. And its all happening on the big screen, tonight. Post-colonization, post-slavery, post-exploitation, post-rapes, post-Tuskegee, post-Captain America, post- it all [insert all the hyphens you can fit into a Black Studies lecture class].

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Manus Interruptus

Boy, ask not what it be to be a man, Black, Here comes the white casket, an excellent fiction. Here comes the bastard in the story, The ballad man they called, Mr. Black F. Masculine, Seize a stool, boy, B. F. Masculine, will daze you.

Little Black Boys

I caress the battle scars of your open city, Moping faces turn concrete, People nursing little disgusts, Little sicknesses, little envies. People forcing God to bend this way, People doing yesterday things in tomorrow ways.

American Twang

And for this, At the end of another donkey day, My next fight with a blond mistress, Will transpire in the wee small hours of Tuesday, Her ignorance impenetrable, Of the things I have stuck up my business end And this will be profound satisfying.

Last I Heard, He Found Jesus

Wonderful evil smiled in the wreathe-framed picture on a tripod next to the holy water, And the sun was partly on his brow and beard, his master eulogy was a song of waterworks and a choral piece from the admirers of death.

Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

Twilight finds me a white man again, in a bit of a pickle. And in this painful occupation, In this second skin, In this adopted sepulchre of mine, If ever I prospered well at this classic treachery, As I do sometimes on my evening prowls on the fish market street, Where I finally become something … Continue reading Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man

THE JJC DIARY

In Nigeria, we refer to a newcomer to a foreign place as a Johnny Just Come (JJC), a play on Johnny-come-lately. This story is about one of such – a JJC to America. The story is a comical narrative on the travails of immigration for a Nigerian student who bumps into original encounters of racial quirks in America observed with some hilarity and lightheartedness - and some confusion (America is examined through the eyes of members of a family spanning three-generations). Chinuam runs a blog in America - called the JJC Diary - where he summarizes his new friendship with America. He writes back to his know-it-all, loquacious grandma who cannot read to dispel all her long-held American stereotypes. His father has a fantastically unsound view on America as well. The story focuses on a formulaic viewpoint of Black America often held by Black Africans from without, lopsided but ultimately emancipating, with a cast of unforgettable characters.