Black Panther & Akata Witch: Black Art Opening a Dialogue Between Africans & African-Americans

February 20, 2018

Black History Month isn't over yet! With the long awaited release of Marvel's Black Panther on the big screen, not since Obama's 2008 victory has black culture been more alive than it is right now.  From the amazing actors, to the entertaining story and social commentary, Black Panther killed it! But there was something that stood out to me...


After seeing Marvel's Black Panther this past weekend, I noticed some similarities between T'Challa and Erik Killmonger and the characters Orulu and Sasha from a book I read, titled Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Like Black Panther, This book also deals with issues of Africans v.s. African Americans, where Sasha is Nigerian-American and Orulu who is a born and raised Nigerian can't seem to get along. Orulu is ignorant to the struggles Black Americans face, and he sees Sasha as a thug and an outsider. Sasha feels misunderstood and judged by Africans like Orulu, and deals with his pent up anger issues from growing up in the hood.



Like T'Challa and Killmonger, both these boys are gifted. Orulu wants his people's hidden powers and lifestyle to remain a secret, but much like Killmonger, Sasha is tough and arrogant and the complete opposite. He wants to flaunt his gifts and has no shame in exposing what the 'Lepoard People' are all about. Sasha is strong, and feared, and his people worried that his strength and power combined with his anger issues would lead to him causing trouble. 


While Orulu and Sasha are not the main protagonists in this book, their interaction and characters definitely stood out and opened up a much needed dialogue between blacks from different countries, not just America. If you're looking for good black fantasy literature to get into, I highly recommend checking out Nnedi Okorafor's work.





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