Rachel Strohm’s recent blog post made me realize that Wakanda has moved from West Africa to East Africa. Here are two maps from Marvel sources, both taken from a slide show by Professor Julian Chambliss. Personally, I love the fact that Wakanda’s location is never truly known, and think that each new writer should situate it somewhere different in the African continent on purpose.
After all, Wakanda isn’t a place, it’s a weird byproduct of a sincere effort by Marvel to engage with blackness in the 1960s, combined with current Afrofuturism, and a ton of remaining residual orientalism about Africa. So why should it be any given place on the continent, instead it should simply be … Africa. Neither of our racist fears nor our futurist fantasies about Africa are actually rooted in any knowledge of a place nor reaction to it. Instead, it’s all about Africa as a mirror to American and European anxiety about the other. Fine then. Let it be as rootless as our fears and hopes are.