Guns, gangs, and violence are three themes typically seen in movies with an African American as the main character. However, Marvel precisely abandoned these themes when creating the highly anticipated Black Panther. Not only does the new superhero movie include a predominately African American cast, but also women essentially drawing in two very large crowds.
Since this movie is such a milestone for the African American community, Wilmington College’s Black Student Initiative (BSI) thought it would be a good idea to attend a viewing of the movie as a group.
“It is important for not only BSI, but everyone to see Black Panther, so they can realize that black people can be more than just the stereotypical ‘black character’ in movies,” says Kelly Angevine, President of BSI. “I think it is especially important for the kids, it shows that there are black superheroes.”
Black Panther has been praised for highlighting what it means to be black in both America and Africa which is a theme not often seen in films, let alone one with a superhero storyline. The creators of Black Panther could have easily dodged the sensitive topics such as: race, identity and discrimination but instead they used these themes to the showcase modern-day life for African Americans.
“This movie gives African Americans the ability to celebrate their heritage and come together because of that,” says Vanessa Cheyann McKee, Vice-President and Secretary of BSI. “This is the first time that a famous worldwide company such as Marvel has represented African Americans as more that just the ‘sidekick’.”
“This is the first time that a famous worldwide company such as Marvel has represented African Americans as more that just the ‘sidekick’.” – Vanessa Cheyann McKee, VP and Secretary of BSI
This movie may be the first movie with a mega-budget dealing with any scenario to cast an African American lead role and that alone is one of the many reasons that this film is being critically acclaimed the way that has by critics all over the world.
However, Black Panther: The Album has been praised as a masterpiece of its own as it features various artists from different parts of Black diaspora. Some of the artists featured include Yugen Blakrok from South Africa, The Weeknd as he represents both Ethippio and Toronto, and Jorja Smith hails from London. The list goes on and on hence why the album alone has drawn in a plethora of crowds.
“I am huge a marvel fan and whenever a new movie comes out, I am so ready.” says Aaliyah Compton, BSI general body member. “Everything about this film puts us in a positive light showing we are so much more than what we are portrayed as.”