Why Black Panther is More Than Just a Super Hero Movie.
Updated: Mar 16, 2018
If you have not already seen Black Panther than you need to exit this blog , Leave your home and go see it right NOW!!!
*minor spoilers alert*
This film is so beautifully made and well thought-out and deserves all the recognition and audience it can get. The movie sets in an Advanced developed African nation featuring an all black cast. Not only did the film represent Black culture in such a beautiful and empowering way, but the movie itself is revolutionary. Here are a few reasons why Black Panther is more than just a superhero movie:
It is rare that we seen movies that are predominately casted with people of colour. Black Panther is Marvel's first black superhero. This alone is one of the top reasons that everyone should watch the movie. We all grew up watching white superheroes with their amazing powers and god-complex capabilities and saw that most of them had a black sidekick or helper. For instance, Iron Man had his helper Rhodey who wore the second iron man suit, Frozone from The Incredibles and Heimdall, played by Idris Elba, in Thor. It was refreshing to see the main character as a black man, King T'Challa (played by Chad Boseman), leading a successful nation. The movie represented black people and culture as strong, rich and intelligent. In this movie, black people weren't "in need" or poor or helpless as the rest of the world thought in the film or even in reality.
Not only does Black Panther show black culture as successful in the movie, the box office numbers show that black culture is successful in real life. Black Panther dominated in the box office with a record breaking $218 million dollar debut. These numbers are proof that black sells. Also, it is important to note that Black Panther was directed and co-written by 31 year-old film director Ryan Coogler who is a black man. In this film, he successfully demonstrates black excellence by using the Nation of Wakanda to show, metaphorically, the capability and potential success of black communities without the effects of colonization and oppression. For many years contributions made to society by black people received a lack of recognition and acknowledgement. Black women and men were responsible for creating many inventions, such as the lightbulb, which was invented by Thomas Edison, the traffic lights, thought of by Garrett Morgan, the clothes dryer by George T. Sampson and MUCH more contributions that we still use all over the world to this day. Most of these things we don't know and people do not realize the influences of people of colour. I love this movie because it showcases our brilliance in various forms.
I absolutely loved how T'Challa's army consisted of all female warriors and how the Greatest Warrior in all of Wakanda, Okoye (played by Danai Guirira) was a female character. She stood by T'Challa side in combat and was slaying all types of men left, right and center! She was fearless and and loyal and her being a women did not weaken her but strengthened her role. T'Challa's Sister, Shuri (played by Letitia Wright) was an intelligent figure who was responsible for producing most of the technological advancements in Wakanda. She created the combat gear worn by the Black Panther and Eric Killmonger (played by Micheal B. Jordan.). The movie showcased women as intelligent and showed how men were dependent on them in order to have a sustainable nation. In Wakada, women were valued.
The movie paves a way for more successful black films and black roles to come. I think people really need to understand the importance of black representation in films. It really astonishes me when we hear things like "black doesn't sell", especially when black consumers represent the highest percentage in the market. I think producers and directors need to take a page from Coogler's book and do more to target our the black population. I also think that black supporting black is crucial for the success of our communities.