Washington, DC – We’re more than halfway through Black History Month and the opening of Marvel’s black-centric movie “Black Panther” probably is probably more relevant than many may realize. Featuring an all-black cast, director and writer, “Black Panther” spins a tale of a modern futuristic, rich and powerful African nation that sits on the mother lode of vibranium, a fictional metal that has incredible strength and durability and is the source of the fictitious African country Wakanda’s strength. Wakanda’s strength comes from its access to this precious resource and also that it was never colonized – presumably by white European powers. “Black Panther” probably has more to do with black history than most Americans realize – it’s a complete work of fiction, much like the Black History month which Americans celebrate every year.
Created by black historian, Carter Woodson in 1926, it was originally called “Negro History Week” and it’s creator’s intentions were never left in doubt,
“If a race has no history, if it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the though of the world.”
But Woodson had a bigger problem – blacks didn’t have any history besides living in mud huts with thatched roofs, something which they were still doing in 1926 and indeed today – which hardly counts as notable history. Woodson understood that no amount of legislation can bestow equality that was never earned and to attain that equality, the black nation needed to “manufacture” it.
Woodson understood that policy could only do so much. Lost amid today’s facile depictions of Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad or George Washington Carver’s peanuts is black America’s claim as co-authors of the United States – a version of history that is not only untrue – it’s a version that this nation has rightfully never accepted.
Despite all that whites have done to improve the lot of blacks in this country, often at great personal cost to themselves, blacks are not satisfied with equality – it is racial superiority which they seek to establish. Nearly five times as many white Americans as black ones say the U.S. has made the changes necessary to give black people equal rights – while four times as many blacks as whites believe we will never make those fixes.
Which is where Woodson comes in. He believed that celebrating black history (historical accuracy be damned) was a political act to “destroy the dividing prejudices of nationality.” Woodson believed that learning about a black inventor would somehow help inspire white magnanimity, never mind that there were no black inventors to speak of, Woodson would crow about the “improvements” that blacks made to existing inventions and point to those as signs of black supremacy. Thus started one of the longest and most enduring projects of fiction undertaken by any specific race in this country, “Black Fiction Month” if you will.
Thanks to social media, and the no-holds barred internet forums of Reddit and 4Chan, now blacks can literally have invented or been responsible for anything. Countless falsified claims of ancient Egyptians being black and building the pyramids as well as Africa being the origin of the species have floated around the internet for so long they have been accepted as historical record. Never mind that there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that blacks were never the origin of the species, or that Egyptians were white, the black history movement adopted the mantra of Adolf Hitler,
“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
Today, across this country, liberal whites now speak of “white guilt” and openly declare their shame at being white. Somehow we have believed those internet lies. Somehow the black history movement really achieved what Woodson set out to do all those years ago – to rewrite black history, to create a great black nation that was allegedly suppressed by the white man. Which is why Wakanda and “Black Panther” represent the culmination of that movement – a coming out party of sorts to celebrate the accomplishment of Woodson’s vision – the blurring of the distinction between black history and black fiction.