The Divine Right of Black Panther

Black Panther, My Rambling Review

Dave Gutteridge
My Rambling Reviews
7 min readMar 11, 2023

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The character Killmonger from the movie Black Panther.
Power to the people

One of the the things I liked best about Black Panther is that it had a very compelling villain. Part of me was kind of rooting for Killmonger, because he made a decent case for his side of things. Sure, his means made it hard to justify his ends, and branding himself as “Killmonger” has bad optics.

But, he claimed that what he wanted to do was help “two billion” people rise up against their oppressors. Given that Africa itself has only a little over a billion people, and he’s probably not aligned with all of them anyway, I take it to mean he’s not just thinking of the people of the continent he calls home, and is talking of a broader class struggle. Sounds good to me.

On the other hand, our hero is the latest in an divinely ordained patrilineal dynasty, whose rule over the people is not just determined by genealogy, but validated on succession by ritual MMA fights. I enjoy a good UFC match, but there’s no fucking way I’d want to live in a country where Conor McGregor had a shot at being head of state.

And Wakandan kings aren’t just figureheads for the state like most other modern day monarchs. So far as we can see, there’s no constitutional constraints on his powers, there is no elected body. There are a group of elders or possibly tribal chiefs who…

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Dave Gutteridge
My Rambling Reviews

I don't post often because I think about what I write. Topics include ethics, relationships, and philosophy.