REPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN CULTURE IN THE MOVIE BLACK PANTHER

REPRESENTATION OF AFRICAN CULTURE IN THE MOVIE BLACK PANTHER

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0      INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Edward B. Taylor is reputed as the scholar who first coined and defined culture in his work Primitive Culture (1871) and reprinted in 2008. Taylor saw culture as that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs or any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society. This definition captures the exhaustive nature of culture.

One would have expected that this definition would be a univocal one but this is not so. In fact, there are as many definitions of culture as there are scholars who are interested in the phenomenon. Culture embraces a wide range of human phenomena, material achievements and norms, beliefs, feelings, manners, morals and so on. It is the patterned way of life shared by a particular group of people that claim to share a single origin or descent.

In an attempt to capture the exhaustive nature of culture, Bello (2001) sees it as “the totality of the way of life evolved by a people in their attempts to meet the challenge of living in their environment, which gives order and meaning to their social, political, economic, aesthetic and religious norms thus distinguishing a people from their neighbours”. Culture serves to distinguish a people from others, and Aziza (2001

Hofstede (2006) defines culture as a collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from others. Terpstra and David (2001) describe culture as a learned, shared, compelling interrelated set of symbols, whose meanings provide a set of orientations for members of a society.

Schein (2002) describes culture as the pattern of basic assumptions that are invented, discovered, or developed by a given human group. These patterns emerge to help the group cope with problems of external adaptation and internal integration. Culture determines the identity of a human group in the same way as personality determines the identity of an individual.

Triandis (2002) identifies two forms of culture: objective and subjective culture. Objective culture represents the “visible” cultural attributes or variables such as symbols, language, behaviour, practice, customs and norms. The subjective culture is the present, and felt but “invisible” cultural traits or variables such as tradition, beliefs, priorities, assumptions, values and attitudes which programme, influence or build the visible objective culture (Schwartz, 2002).

1.1.1 The history of Black Panther

“Black Panther,” one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2018, has already broken pre-sale ticket records for its parent company Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the journey from comic book to screen has taken more than 50 years: Black Panther, Marvel Comic’s first black superhero, debuted in Marvel’s “Fantastic 4” comic in 1966, and became a member of the Avengers two years later, but didn’t get his own comic until 1977. The series centres on T’Challa, king of Wakanda, and the wealthiest fictional character in the Marvel universe. Unlike many other heroes, T’Challa inherits his mantle from his father T’Chaka (the previous king), and gains his powers—including super-acute senses and enhanced strength and speed—from a combination of skill, divine favor and a special herb. In a 1990 interview with The Comics Journal, co-creator Jack Kirby described why he created the character: “I came up with the Black Panther because I realized I had no blacks in my strip…I had a lot of black readers. My first friend was…black! And here I was ignoring them because I was associating with everybody else.

        Black Panther’s story originates in the fictional nation of Wakanda, touted in the comic as the only African country that was never colonized—though many tried. Over the years, observers have drawn real-world parallels between Wakanda and Ethiopia, which was never officially colonized, but was occupied by Italy in the 1930s. Without outside powers extracting its resources, or imposing exploitative policies, Wakanda flourishes and becomes the most technologically advanced country on earth, rich in natural resources such as the fictional element Vibranium. (Sound familiar? It’s what Captain America’s shield is made of.)

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

        The culture of a people is what marks them out distinctively from other human societies in the family of humanity. Africa is one of the continents that has in it several cultures which every other continent must come to respect but most at times, the reverse is the case were other countries tends to despise the culture of Africa and thereby bringing enmity between them and the Africans. Finally, several researches have been carried out on the African culture but not even a single research has been carried out on the representation of African culture in the movie Black Panther.

1.3   AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

        The main aim of the study is to examine the representation of African culture in the movie black panther. Other specific objectives of the study include;

1.                  to determine the factors affecting African culture and its representation in the black panther movie.

2.                  to determine the extent to which cultural values affects African culture in the movie black panther.

3.                  to determine the influence of leadership in African culture in the black panther movie.

4.                  to proffer possible solutions to the problems.  

1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS               

1      What are the factors affecting African culture and its representation in the Black Panther movie?

2      What is the extent to which cultural values affects African culture in the movie Black Panther?

3      What is the influence of leadership in African culture in the Black Panther movie?

4      What are the possible solutions to the problems?

1.5   SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study on the representation of African culture in the movie Black Panther will be of immense benefit to the entire Africans in the sense that it will enable the Africans to know their right as citizens of the country, the study will also portray the culture and traditions of Africans to other non-African countries which might turn out to serve as a center of attraction for tourism for tourist. The study will also enable non-African countries to accept African countries just the way they are without disparity. Finally, the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge to this field of study and basis for further research.

1.6   SCOPE OF STUDY

The study on the representation of African culture is limited to the Black Panther movie.

1.7   LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS

RepresentationThe description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way.

African CultureThe culture of Africa is varied and manifold, consisting of a mixture of countries with various tribes that each has their own unique characteristic from continent of Africa
                               

 


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