You just know I had to join the very luxurious bandwagon that is super obsessed with Black Panther. I watched a video this morning showing a white kid crying that he wanted to be black and it made my morning. It was particularly instructive for me because it meant that finally, blacks have some sort of spot within the cabal of stereotypical heroes in the world. In other words, blacks can now identify with a hero character that’s not a white man with smooth white people hair, wearing underwear outside his pants. If you still don’t get what the fuss is about with Black Panther, the rave is that Marvel successfully created the first all-black superhero movie. Something that is paying them quite nicely (You smart, smart people.)
Black Panther has it all! It shows the black culture in a wonderful light, touches on various aspects of our culture, has nice black music, and it was truly something that was completely relatable. Not to mention that the movie itself was an actual hit. It was so good that it has wonderful reviews, and most people don’t want to give spoilers. And as far as team support goes, Blacks went in troops in African attires to watch the movie like it was some kind of revolution. A couple of people watched it multiple times amidst the chaos that came with getting tickets and amidst the higher prices that naturally tailed the high demand.
While you must have watched or read or heard one of two things about this Marvel (pun intended), here are a few of my own opinions about Black Panther and our marvellous (I can’t help it) city of Wakanda.
- Wakanda of the Future
If you have been following me well enough, or you know me personally, then you would probably have an idea why this city is a big deal for me. Why not? I have been yelling on the top of my writing voice that the Africa I know is not nearly as bad as it is portrayed. It hasn’t even helped that Africans who live in nice sophisticated houses, would write or shoot movies of Africans wearing leaves, living in huts, and basically basking in penury. But, not Wakanda. Wakanda is the fictitious home of Black Panther and it is known for its futuristic technological advancements. It has super high-tech facilities and really just state of the art everything. From sky-scrapers and flying cars to high-tech weapons and so much more tech magic. Wakanda is Africa of the present and the future. This is really the best part of the movie for me.
2. African representation has never been better
While I have never been completely against the growth that came with westernization, there is no gainsaying the fact that it has diluted a lot of the things that we stand for. Unfortunately, the same ‘white man’ stereotype has made a lot of us unconsciously, and maybe a little consciously, strive to be less African. But, my sweet Black Panther, is already on the course to setting things straight. Black Panther blesses us with well-researched Black Magic. Beyond the cast being black, we have a luscious representation of Black Culture. The masks, the tribal and body marks, the accent, the African Swag, the hair, and so much more! This is the real Black Magic. While I’m not about to go into the denotation of those things, it is beautiful to know that these guys took the extra time to get it right. Knowing that a child can grow up having a super hero that looks, talks, and dresses like him, is simply soothing.
The truth is that Black Panther was so good that nobody actually wants to talk about its draw-backs – not that there’s really any though. Heck, somebody tweeted that Marvel missed another opportunity to show the LGBT community with this film, and the person got shamed big time. Like are y’all ever satisfied?! However, there are a few things that have been pointed out that seem worth mentioning.
The first is the accent. I watched this movie with friends and they really kept on saying “but we don’t even talk like that.” For one, Africa is so diverse that we have different languages and different accents. Hence, there was no way Black Panther was going to sound like all of us… Duh. Next, I particularly think that the modern African is greatly influenced by the western world. I mean, that’s what we watch; those are the people we do business with and we are more likely to see ourselves through the eyes of the western man than the typical African person. Thanks colonialism. None of these happen to be Marvel’s fault.
The other, and really important, thing pointed out is that underneath all of these, it is still a foreign company that was able to pull off the first African/Black superhero movie. If I didn’t know people had tried, I would probably also hold on to that notion. However, it is no news that blacks would rather buy black stuff from a white man than a fellow black man. It’s almost set on stone.
In any case, this movie is the bomb. I’ll probably watch it more times. Special thanks to Marvel for making this part of history complete. We also certainly hope that Black Panther has a top-notch sequel as well.