When make believe steps over into reality, people go crazy

This has been one of those weeks that makes me wonder about the human race. I know some people can be quite gullible, but this is one of those things that makes you do a double-take. As a writer, I enjoy taking people into another world through my stories; but when those same people can’t separate fantasy from reality, I start to worry. Here’s what I’m talking about:

15081911022349-1The Black Panther movie is premiering this week. The movie is being hailed as one of the best Marvel comics movies yet. The visuals of the amazing world of Wakanda is breathtaking, and that’s where people seem to forget that this is a movie.

With all the political divisiveness in the world today, people see a country like Wakanda as a beacon for Africans, a utopia where “colonialism” never took place. They seem to forget that this is not a real place. It’s understandable to imagine a world as technologically advanced as Wakanda–with a powerful leader, incredibly strong people, and rich history–could be real. It’s something to aspire to, but these people don’t seem to realize its not real. Believe it or not, Wakanda, the Black Panther, the entire world there was conceived and created by two ordinary white guys (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby).

Lee and Kirby actually created Black Panther in the 1960’s, a few months before the Black Panther Party was founded; but these same social challenges inspired both the political movement and the super-powered African king. “At that point I felt we really needed a black superhero,” Lee recalled. “And I wanted to get away from a common perception. So what I did, I made I made him almost like (Fantastic Four’s) Reed Richards. He lives in an area that nobody suspects it because on the surface it’s just thatched huts with ordinary ‘natives.’ And he’s not letting the world know what’s really going on or how brilliant they really are.”

In the world of Marvel comics, Wakanda is a place of mystery; but if you read Twitter this past week, people act like its a real place in our world today. They’re using it as an example of what “could be” for African as a whole. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately, a giant meteor containing a super metal (vibranium) hasn’t crashed into the continent just yet.

The great thing about a movie like Black Panther is that its getting people talking about diversity issues, inclusion, and racism. The problem is when its taken to far. Sometimes, discussions like these often lead to violence, and that’s wrong. I’m a firm believer in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.–“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I believe in that, I truly do. As a writer, we have to be that spear in the war of words when it comes to “social justice” in our world. It’s our responsibility to make examples to inspire people, not incite them. Creating a place like Wakanda is a dream, an example of what “could be” in our own world. Now, lets take those words from “fantasy” to heart and try to make them a “reality” in our world, not the other way around.

 # # #

51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.