Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians, different in many ways […] share similarities. Both follow the plight of a second-generation immigrant of modest means who wishes to claim a place in a world of opulence and wealth, a place that is imagined simultaneously as ‘foreign’ and as an ‘original homeland’. Rachel, the protagonist of Crazy Rich Asians, visits her boyfriend’s home in Singapore, to be confronted with a world of nearly unimaginable wealth, comfort and beauty. The film’s opening quote, ‘Let China sleep, for when she awakens she will shake the world’ does not represent a Singapore remotely representative of the country. Instead, it shows a world of the mega-wealthy Chinese, who seem to signify a kind of ‘authenticity’ and untaintedness; they refer to Rachel as a ‘banana’ – yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Similarly, Eric Killmonger in Black Panther goes to Wakanda to claim his rightful place. Wakanda signifies both original ‘Africa’ and a kind of futuristic utopia. It is populated by Africans who are rich, talented, beautiful, and comfortable in their own skin, as opposed to the African-American Eric, who is represented as being damaged, fearful, and full of rage.
This hierarchy and perspective essentially places the working-class diasporics in both films as the underdogs, while the elite inhabitants of the non-western nations are in a position of power and desirability.
Kavita Bhanot and Ayesha Manazir Siddiqi on colonial fantasy.
This is from a really interesting longer essay that looks at the intersection between race and class, specifically in media produced by American creators of color (and, more often than not, sold for the consumption of white audiences).