Nakia is the MVP of “Black Panther”— if anyone is revolutionary here, it is her.
By Clarkisha Kent
It has been nearly two weeks since “Black Panther” came out. And in that time, I have become obsessed with the film. And I have managed to watch it at least three times and counting. And like many fans of the film are discussing, I’ve usually walked away with some different meaning or reading or interpretation based on that viewing. Lines get re-drawn. Points are re-defined and readapted. And you consider a point of view that perhaps you didn’t consider before.
Still, that said, there is one more thing I have managed to not waver on, even as I have watched the film like 2345678186527 times:
That Nakia—Not Erik Killmonger or even T’Challa—was right all along.
I have asked myself so many times why the hell Nakia is being left out of serious discussions on who’s right and who’s wrong. Granted Erik is the primary antagonist in the film and his experiences create the tension built upon the terrible implications of Wakanda’s isolation and his father’s murder, part of the focus needs to be on his development. Same goes for T’Challa since this is literally his show. It also doesn’t help that both of them are pretty attractive. With the help of some good ol’ misogynoir, Nakia’s point was almost lost among of this tedious battle of egos, feelings of pride, and sins of the father. However, even with that being the case, her relevance in this cultural conversation cannot be denied and here are some reasons why:
1. Without Nakia, T’Challa would have died and Wakanda would have fallen.