By Mariah Green
“Black Panther” displays a revolutionary statement that claws at the 21st century systematic pressures African-Americans experience daily.
Chadwick Boseman plays the Marvel superhero Black Panther who originates from Wakanda, a fictional East African nation in the Marvel Universe.
The movie highlights the differences between Wakanda, and Americans with African descent.
Wakanda brings to the forefront topics that are present within the Afrofuturist movement.
It shows a vision currently being shaped by present day African Americans.
This fictional land Marvel displays shows the potential future that Black people can achieve as a whole.
“Black Panther” is a groundbreaking film. Since its premiere, the movie has shattered box office records. According to Andrew Dalton from Time Magazine, the film has grossed $500 million domestically after three weeks of its release and continues to grow. Domestically, the film is the third fastest to reach the $500 million caliber.
Ryan Coogler, director and co-writer of the film, posted an emotional letter on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Facebook directed to his fans, thanking them for the movie’s success.
“It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film,” Coogler said.
This film makes a statement. The African American cast proves that diversity sells in Hollywood and that displays of talent from every ethnicity are appreciated by audiences.
The entertainment business tends to primarily displays and favor white talent. While advocating for inclusivity, Hollywood continues to remain the same.
“70.8% of speaking roles in 2016’s top 100 [movies] were white, far outweighing the tallies for characters who were Black (13.6%), Asian (5.7%), Hispanic (3.1%) or other (7%),” reports Stacy L. Smith and the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Black Panther has his eyes on Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o).
Nakia is a woman who is often seen as too dark in complexion by American standards.
An important topic that “Black Panther” discusses is colorism.
Colorism is the discrimination based on skin color, which includes the idea that people within the same ethnic group that vary in skin color are treated differently in society.
Regardless of ethnicity those that are darker are more often discriminated against. The film’s storyline reminds the audience that Black exellence is everywhere.
“It was a long time coming, and it was worth the wait,” Odie Henderson, a Roger Ebert critic said.
“Black Panther” is a movie that boldly promotes Black power and brings a major headlining superhero to the Black community.