Why Black Panther Is More Than Just a Superhero Movie
It’s impossible to miss the excitement and the pride that African-American and black communities have for Black Panther. It’s one of only 13 movies that have made $1 billion at the box office—ever—and that’s mostly thanks to these audiences. But some people don’t quite understand why this movie is so important for us. So let me explain.
Black Panther, the fictional superhero, first surfaced in the Fantastic Four comic number 52 in July of 1966. He is the first black superhero to ever appear in American mainstream comic books. It’s historic! That is one of the reasons why this movie is such a massive success today.
Another reason? Wakanda. Wakanda is a technologically advanced African society where the story takes place, and the movie did an exceptional job of displaying cultural accuracy and African representation.
But arguably the biggest reason why this film is *so* important is the cast. Sure, there have been movies with a majority black cast before. It’s not really anything new. But when was the last time a movie with a black cast was depicted in this manner? The movies with black casts are often about drugs, gangs, or slavery. As much as people hate to admit that, it’s true.
While there were plenty of epic characters in Black Panther, the ones I loved the most were the women. The female characters were depicted as strong and independent. The Dora Miljae were the best of the best in the film; T’Challa literally had an army of women. I fell in love with all of them. In the comics, there were hundreds of them, and though there were only a handful in the movie, they were just as powerful. Even better, they weren’t dressed as the “ideal woman.” They were dressed in armor from head to toe and their heads were shaved bald with tribal markings.
These women were total badasses on the inside and out. General Okoye gets all my applause, and so does Nakia, who was played by the beautiful Lupita Nyong’o. She’s a female spy who refused to be held down and took matters into her own hands. That’s what I’m talking about, sis! And we can’t forget about T’Challa’s little sister, Princess Shuri. Though young, that girl was the real genius of the story.
I don’t care what anyone else says. In this movie, the women took charge of everything and I loved it. So, if you still don’t understand why Black Panther had such an mark of the black and African-American communities, then I suggest you see if for yourself.
By NyKhi Garrett, 18