The wonderful thing about history is that while majority of it seems to be set in stone, there could be a numerous amount of documents and finding to be unearthed and some that may never be seen again. I was intrigued with this article because it’s something I’d never heard about before. The 1619 Landing Day, a day meant to honor the first group of Africans in the America’s. The article does raise the point of what exactly should be factual and how rewriting history could be seen as problematic. One is the use of the term “indentured servant.” African Americans were slaves in the simplest forms no matter how one may want to put it, and using terms such as indentured servant only sugar coats the true sad history.
The article also makes point of keeping connected to the history at hand. When revelations like this are revealed it is imperative to make note, yet many historians are still hesitant about changing history and tend to omit anything that has to do with Black history. The point of the 1619 Landing day is to showcase African Americans presence in this country from the start, and while it may be a small thing, it still matters to the overall story of African American history.
Dr. Shakes talk spoke mainly about the dynamics and parallels between Black Panther and Luke Cage. She spoke on the representation of African culture within Wakanda and the intra conflict between Black Americans and Africans and how this conflict is used to define how blackness is defined through national and ethnic identities. A piece that really stood out to me and what I did not pick up on per se is the difference between Kilmongers view of trans-nationalism and Nakia. While on the surface level his version may result in violence which should not be the option, the deeper connection to his vengeance has to do with colonialism and the suffering/ genocide of his people and ancestors. When we touch on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade in class we go into detail about the commodification of black bodies and how the industry plays an integral role in how the past was shaped. But it is still playing a role in who we are as a people today. This is often overlooked in the discussion. The discussion needs to be rerouted to the root issue at hand and it starts with American imperialism and the institution of slavery, which is a point Dr. Shakes reiterated throughout the lecture.
Dr. Shakes also provided dialogue about Bush Masters’ being American by birth and how Jamaican culture deemed him “alien”. He is essentially an outcast even though he has ties to both cultures and has every right to belong. The main takeaway from the discussion that resonated with me was how we discuss and accept black identity without making one the main hegemony as Dr. Shakes said. The institution of slavery has hindered us, and the way we go about interacting needs improving. Many identities can co-exist at once and no one deserves to feel inferior, but because of slavery, these problems have been forced upon us