Black Panther, What a great movie, i feel like those who have seen it have already expressed remarkable reviews or some criticism here and there about the movie but overall have enjoyed it. I was motivated to make a post about this because well….i think everyone has weighed in on the movie at this point so hopefully you don’t tune me out!
First of all as i mentioned what a GREAT movie. Marvel is known for making amazing movies and carrying out the roles of superheroes in such a unique fascinating way that we can’t help BUT be amazed. the way they portray the fight scenes, the way our feelings get involved or are dragged along for the roller coaster of emotions that a movie is about to inflict on us, i have nothing bad to say about marvel.
Concerning Black Panther in particular, there seems to have come up a huge topic over the hype of black people (i happen to also be an African American…African Canadian? African…person? I’m black.) over this movie. There are also two sides it seems, one where we are excited, hash tagging Wakanda everything and all, and then the opposing side where some of my white brothers and sisters and friends I’m sure are wondering “why are they so excited? It’s just a movie. it wasn’t even that good!” now granted that’s to the extreme, a majority of white people and black people all agree it was a great movie, and the same also I’m sure agree there shouldn’t be a huge fuss over it. What I’ll be trying to explain here is the reason for the hype, and why i think this movie if anything shouldn’t sow FURTHER separation on both sides, but if anything helps people understand each other a bit better.
So, you see all the instagram posts, the videos on Facebook, the gofundme pages about supporting African kids and kids of color to see the movie, and let’s say you are wondering why we are going overboard with this. well its simple really, it’s because for the first time, the movie industry has portrayed Africans and strong leads in a movie fully devoted to them through actors we can relate to, as something….cool? Now i know what you’re thinking, “no way! There are other great movies where strong African Americans are portrayed as strong and have changed the views of many people.” and to that i say. Yes, you are correct, you are 10000% correct and we remember those movies. The reason this one is so significant is that it was a super hero movie.
But wait, there have been SEVERAL, superhero movies with black super heroes and heroine figures, i still don’t see the hype. And to that i say, yes. You are right AGAIN, there have been. From Hancock, storm (X-men), Luke cage (ultimate Spiderman universe), john Stewart (justice league unlimited), Falcon (captain America), hell, there’s a super hero that goes by black lightening (justice league: a crisis on two earths). I can go on, but the point is marvel, DC, and a host of others have all portrayed black people with rich backgrounds as superheroes, so what sets Black Panther apart? Why are we EXTRA excited?
All those superheroes i listed were in a movie or in a comic that I’m sure we’ve all heard or seen the difference with Black Panther, is the fact it revolved entirely around Wakanda, and the proud country Black Panther is king of. also, you’ll notice some of those superheroes mentioned above, have not had a huge impact or a move solely directed just for them, with a black cast, a black director, and all. the reason black panther is making waves, is simply because in this time and age, this is a great film that is inspiring kids, parents, brothers, sisters, friends, cousins, whatever, to really take pride and aim higher. Kids these days have access to the internet. When our parents, your parents, all these others that don’t understand the hype for the movie are pointing out the previous super heroes that are black or movies with black actors and roles important enough to overshadow Black Panther, we are not ignoring that. They are correct. And make valid points.
The excitement is that the kids of today, who go see this movie, or who may not have had all the comics with the black super heroes all of us have come to know and love, get a first glance at a super hero, that is black, bad-ass, has all the swag that’s related to his position, has some bad ass company as a king that follow and protect him, and are you know, ALL FEMALE. We’re talking bad ass black women that will impale you to a desk if you touch their king, maybe not the greatest example now that i think about it….but back to the point at hand. They are bad-ass. Kids will look at this and think “wow, he’s so cool! I wanna be like black panther!” or “whoa, his security is an all women, and they can fight and are as strong as the guys! I wanna grow up to be strong and like them!” now you might be thinking, well so? There are plenty of females that inspire girls or boys, and there are plenty of super hero men that do that for little boys as well. And that may be true and all, but the issue at hand is the fact these kids can now relate…down to skin color.
I know i know, it shouldn’t be about race and i fully agree, for the longest time my favorite super hero was……the flash, and he wasn’t black. But this isn’t about who my favorite super hero is, let’s get back to the point, which is, the relation that kids have now. They see a black super hero they can relate to, they see a black director as I’m sure they’ll come to learn that did a great job on a movie; they’ll see great female and male actors that are black in a super hero movie! Basically these kids will aim and learn to try to do better! they will be excited that their future could put them on the big screen, or that wearing their national African clothes isn’t embarrassing here in Canada, or the states, or wherever really, since they are so colorful and cool, and they will learn to not give in to being made fun of for wearing them if they want. the lessons and things they take away from this movie, which by the way if you haven’t seen it yet i encourage you to ends with the very man himself T’challa mentioning we are all one tribe, family, people, whatever word makes you more comfortable. But they point he teaches is we all need to work together and you can do that.
The lessons this movie has brought to kids of color is that, though they may face challenges, or be hung up on how we are treated in some rare cases, we need to keep our heads high and work towards our goals. Not give up and take pressure or things that are said to tear us down to heart. the movies lesson are beyond just another cool black super hero, the hype and the parents and every black person that’s blowing this movie out of proportion is more because they want to reflect the same power and confidence that the heroes in the movie demonstrated but in real life. They are transferring the excitement that’s been demonstrated in such a perfect way in a fictional movie, to reality.
so when others are wondering why it matters, stop and think for a second, when you saw superman for the first time, or whoever comes to mind, were you not excited your superhero beat the bad guy? That your superhero is relatable down to the fact he kind of looks like you? All these factors are now making kids of color just as proud and excited. And we only wish to encourage them to take that excitement and transfer it to their future, to work hard and contribute to society and at the same time be proud of their background and where they come from. This movie has turned into more than just another movie, it’s turned in a great symbol for black people worldwide, by a director that understands the hardships and everything black people face, but created a movie that brought both blacks and whites, and every race to enjoy a movie.
The message itself is what’s important here. So for those who don’t understand why black people are excited, or overly so, hopefully this has helped you see a little to their reasons? And to my fellow Africans, please, don’t turn this into another conflict. There’s no need for, “only black people can be excited for this movie” or any “white people shouldn’t watch this movie” nonsense. Because that only divides us. What we want here is to celebrate together and enjoy the fact everyone is enjoying the movie. And considers it a very good one.
Thanks for reading, and if you haven’t seen the movie, i highly recommend it! I’ve seen it twice now and will probably see it again in the near future, but let me know what you thought of the movie below!