Envisioning A Better Future

Rawlonda Arthur
5 min readNov 4, 2020

While watching the movie, I made a chart comparing the characteristics of both T’Challa and N’Jadaka and these were my responses, as well as looking up more examples of leadership traits they had so that I could get a broader understanding and view. This assignment was completed on Tuesday, November third.

The newly crowned king of Wakanda is T’Challa. In the movie he without second guessing, accepts challenges to his reign and overcomes his enemies in mortal combat. While that’s admirable, the more powerful leadership traits he demonstrates relates to how he governed his people. Wakanda was always kept a secret and isolated because the people of his kingdom have always feared outside influences and the threats they pose to Wakandan society. At first, T’Challa echoes these sentiments and his policies reinforce this isolationist stance, but as the movie develops, T’Challa realizes he has an obligation to build relationships and help other societies achieve peace and prosperity. Doing so requires opening Wakanda’s veil of secrecy and sharing its technological riches with the world. This is not something T’Challa undertakes lightly but by the end of the movie, I saw how far he’s come in implementing his policy of outreach. In addition to this, there were other leadership skills one can learn from watching T’Challa in Black Panther. In the movie, T’Challa faced challenge after challenge , first with M’Baku and then Killmonger and never did he once waver or shy away. As a leader, people would look up to you to lead the charge. Another thing T’Challa showed was despite his status as the ruler of Wakanda, T’Challa shows respect to those who have been there before him, and those around him. It doesn’t matter if it’s just a child or the head of the Jabari Tribe, T’Challa never lets his position get over his head . When you come from a position of power, sometimes it’s easy to forget that those working with you deserve some respect too, but T’Challa never forgets this, which is a good lesson for others to learn.

Another great leadership trait that T’Challa had was the ability to listen. As the King of Wakanda, he had the actual power to overrule the voices around him, but he didn’t. He took Nakia’s advice to help the world with Wakandan tech, something that could potentially bring unwanted attention to Wakanda but it was also something T’Challa thought was necessary. A good leader must develop the ability to listen. Your teammates might not have the seniority that you have, but that doesn’t mean they do not have the experience that could help you. Furthermore, despite his status as a ruler, T’Challa shows humility time and time again. He was humble when he asked his father for advice on how to rule the kingdom, and he was modest when he asked for help to defeat Kilmonger. He knew when to step back and not throw his weight around, which some people might find it hard to let go of their ego, but a good leader knows the benefits of being humble. The scene where he shed a tear for Kilmonger after learning of his tragic backstory , and he even found it in his heart to forgive both Kilmonger and W’Kabi for acting the way they did under certain circumstances, teaches us empathy. People always view leaders as strong and tough, but a good leader knows how to understand and share the feelings of others.

In my opinion, N’Jadaka was the total opposite. Killmonger was considered utterly sociopathic as he showed no care even for the lives of his allies. He betrayed Ulysses Klaue at a destroyed junkyard, killing him and using his body and resources to get into Wakanda, even killing his own girlfriend when Klaue held her hostage in an attempt to escape. He seemed to take great pride in his capabilities as an assassin and his high body count, as evidenced by the scars he gave himself to mark how many people he murdered. He also displayed a great sense of sadism, as shown when he brutally killed Zuri for the sake of the throne and to avenge his father’s death. He is also suicidal, as he preferred to die free than to live as a prisoner.In spite of his bloodthirsty nature and his violent methods, Killmonger truly believed himself to be doing the right thing. He saw the world as a brutal and violent place that has been hopelessly corrupted by colonialism and imperialism and believed that the only solution was to destroy global society in its entirety and rebuild a new world order under his rule. Killmonger’s paranoia and narcissism also caused him to get rid of Wakanda’s tradition of allowing challengers to the throne, out of fear that he would lose the throne he fought so hard to take. This also led him to destroy all of the heart-shaped herbs used by the Royal Family to imbue rulers with the power of the Black Panther, claiming that there would no longer be any need for them since Wakanda would have no more kings after him. Altogether, compared to T’Challa he was a brutal and selfish leader, which in my opinion had to do with being abandoned by the Royal Family following his father’s death and his mother’s wrongful incarceration. An act that left an orphaned Killmonger to fend for himself in the streets before becoming a ruthless military assassin.

As I was listening to the key passages I was jotting down notes. This about a 3 min read .

For my plotting my leadership assignment for this week I was asked to describe a world that I would like to live in. I would keep the government as a democracy, because it keeps structure and order. I want everyone to be treated equally despite their race, sex, and or gender. I want education to be free for all and crimes to be punished based on actions. I want life to be redeemable, just because you made a mistake, your whole life shouldn’t be over. To be honest, not much would change in my world besides how people treat and view one another. I think the world we live in and have developed for centuries is not bad. People do jobs that benefit society and as a result they receive income that supports their family. Neighborhoods would be closer socially if it was up to me however, if kids are taught and shown from young to love one another despite anything, their generation could make my world a better place. Culturally, things wouldn’t change besides discriminating against cultures and or religions. I believe that everyone has a right to believe and worship what they believe and should not be mocked, teased, or ridiculed for it.

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