Friday Open Thread | Lupita Nyong’o says Black Panther’s Wakanda is Africa if it had never been colonized

Cinematic smash hit Black Panther means many things to many people – including the film’s star Lupita Nyong’o, who said that the film’s re-imagining of Africa had the continent not been colonised is liberating.

The 34-year-old appeared on The View to discuss the new film with her co-star Danai Gurira, and when asked what it means to have African culture celebrated in such a way throughout the film, Lupita – who grew up in Kenya – came back with a profound response.

‘It’s so liberating. We come from a continent of great wealth, but a continent that has been assaulted and abuse very often. What colonialism did was it rewrote our history and our narrative, and our global narrative is one of poverty and strife, and so the wealth of the continent is very seldom seen on such a global scale.

‘So what this film does is it looks cool, it looks futuristic, but it’s drawing from ancient cultures. The diversity from this film is specifically from the continent.

#BlackPanther is more than a MOVIE!!… “wakanda is special because it was never colonized, what we can see there is re-imagining of what would’ve been possible, had Africa been allowed to realise itself for itself” – Lupita Nyongo 👊👊❤

— biodun yusuf (@bideyy) February 22, 2018

‘Wakanda is special because it was never colonised, so what we can see there for all of us is a re-imagining what would have been possible had Africa been allowed to realise itself for itself. And that’s a beautiful place.’ The actress has also previously praised the portrayal gender equality in the film, telling Popsugar Australia: ‘we see women alongside men, and they’re powerful in their own right, but them assuming their power in no way diminishes the males in their lives’.

It really is the film that has everything – which is probably why it slipped past Star Wars: The Last Jedi earnings to make $242 million in four days, with the biggest Monday at the box office of all time (in the US), earning $40.2 million.

#BlackPanther‘s @Lupita_Nyongo talks being unapologetic about embracing her blackness in her work: “I make my way with what I have and I try and make more of it without having to apologize for the fact that the status quo does not necessarily respond to me.”

— The View (@TheView) February 19, 2018

Lupita went on to speak about how Hollywood isn’t and has never been inclusive

‘The history of Hollywood didn’t look like me. The people who are writing and creative films historically did not look like me. [Actor] Sidney Poitier came and broke barriers back in the day and we’re still breaking barriers, that’s why we have a moment like this with Black Panther.

‘What me and Danai believe is that you work with what you have, and I’ve been given such an incredible platform with 12 Years A Slave and everything that followed it. ‘I want to work with what I have – I work with my sister Danai, I work with Ryan Coogler. I make my way with what I have and I try and make more of it without having to apologise that the status quo doesn’t necessarily respond to me.’

Lupita for president, please?