After seeing the many trailers and the general hoopla, I finally was able to see the Black Panther Marvel movie for myself this past opening weekend. Realizing that some of us have yet to see the film, I will leave this blog post as just my initial impressions and will go into depth and spoilers in the subsequent posts. Now that the obligatory disclaimers are out of the way, we can get right into the proceedings this evening! First off shout out to the amazing and dedicated Black cosplay fans (I guess it is not really costume play if you are actually wearing African garb, right?) that flooded my social media feeds and who I saw in the theater. There was no shortage of BEAUTIFUL BROTHERS AND SISTERS FROM THROUGHOUT THE DIASPORA at the movies smiling and being unapologetically Black and extroverted!
I was impressed by all the love and genuine positive vibes I felt from seeing the long line in the theater to warm looking stares of love and connection I felt when attending the movie. I thought it is best to wear all Black and watch the movie at Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem during Black History Month! To be completely transparent I cried 10 minutes into the film due to the imagery and NEVER seeing Black folks be depicted on screen with the cool gadgets and futuristic technology be displayed so prominently. We have come a long way from chattel slavery to the first Black president, but we still have movies like the God-awful Gods of Egypt movie where all of the prominent characters were white whereas the slaves, servants, and menial characters were Black. With Black Panther, this is not the case at all!
ALL of the important figures were BLACK! The white characters were merely used as cannon fodder and as a plot device much like how Black people are used in American mainstream films created by white imagination and greed. Capitalism is often at the root of Black oppression, but this movie blatantly changes the narrative of what is possible for Black folks and celebrates our mother culture in ways that both nod to the past and what it could look like in the future all while staying firmly planted in the present. The pan African spirit that permeates and undergirds the entire movie is much welcomed.
As a Black Studies Major, I was pleased to see that form wasn’t sacrificed for function in that America was not emphasized or Africa toned down to be more palatable to white folks. I was also pleased to see that there was true equality amongst the genders as there could be no Black Panther without his community of both men and women to support him and vice versa. As always the white supremacist-trolls populated small corners of social media to perpetuate lies about white folks being attacked by Black movies goers at Black Panther screenings. Of course, these allegations were not true and plenty of white folks undoubtedly contributed to the movies $404 million in sales. Wakanda is what Black folks and Black society could achieve if left to our own devices devoid of colonizers, white supremacists, political sabotage, and coons.


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