Chadwick Boseman and Trevor Noah Talk About Accents in “Black Panther”

Chadwick Boseman on the variety of accents in Black Panther.â–ºExtended interview:

Posted by The Daily Show on Saturday, March 3, 2018

Listening to Chadwick Boseman and Trevor Noah talk about accents in Black Panther is kind of interesting since Noah would know a great deal about the different African accents. Noah was after all born and raised in South Africa, and has no doubt heard a great many accents in his life when it comes to Africa. It should be pointed out for those that don’t know or have never bothered to realize that each continent is riddled with its own dialects and accents just as the USA is. Our mess of different accents and dialects is nothing new to the world, as each country and continent has had to deal with this for countless generations. But to be able to decipher them all from hearing them being spoken is something quite unique since it does take a trained ear to hear the difference in some accents.

However if you watch the Black Panther again you should be able to notice the slight differences in the type of accent that each character uses. The explanation for this is that Wakanda is, in the MCU, one of the likely places where the African culture has spread far and wide from, meaning that along with many other things their accents would change as well as they began to spread from region to region. Different peoples will speak in different manners in order to distinguish themselves from others and create a sense of solidarity within their own society, while still keeping to the basic accent and beliefs from which that society was spawned. In other words it’s normal to keep the fundamentals but the particulars will continue to change the longer a society exists.

The argument that ‘they all sound the same’ is about as invalid as saying that a Californian sounds the same as a Texan. Each region will have their own type of inflections, their own type of speech, and their own accent that is easily noticed. Stating that they are all the same is an egregious error that is usually made by those that don’t or refuse to understand the intricacies between people. The Black Panther movie was quite adept in bringing together many different accents to keep a level of diversity present within the film despite the almost all-black cast. For those that might think that it’s all the same they should probably watch the film again and listen closely. The only painfully obvious accent that is entirely different belongs to Erik Killmonger, who obviously was not raised among his people and obtained an education and a background that changed his accent by force of habit and learning.

But the rest of them do have different accents if you simply listen. Part of it could be their familiarity with an accent or their mastery over it, but every character has a slightly different accent that distinguishes them from one another and speaks to the region that they’re from. Just like anywhere else, Wakanda is a nation that clings to old traditions and is made up of not just one, but several bodies that are important to its survival.

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