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The Origin and Importance of “Black Panther” To The Cinema History

For all who don’t know, the Black Panther was a party of African-Americans founded to guarantee the civil rights for the black community in the late 60’s, a time of racial segregation, in the United States. They also believed that the pacifist movement promoted by Martin Luther King was not enough to provide justice, so they stood up with their fists closed and fought using weapons.

The movie of the same name, directed by Ryan Coogler, opens the discussion of what the Black Panthers believed and how they battled to conquer that. In a revolutionary scenario, we see a Hollywoodian movie with mostly black actors, highlighting not only a principal character, but also a black superhero, and with Africa as its main location. I could write an entire book about all the important discussions that this movie approaches in such a soft and natural way.

Image Source: Disney/Marvel Studios via IMDb

The Black Panther or T’Challa is performed by Chadwick Boseman and I can only wonder how significant must be for black kids to see themselves represented in such a powerful, strong and kind superhero. We are living times in which everything is discussed and at the same time everything is taboo. With that said, some people argue that no one can joke anymore and that we are turning into a bunch of correct borings. However, representative is fundamental and we need to discuss it – and I rather be boring than offensive.

Last year, Moonlight – footage with majority black actors that approached important racial, sexuality and social issues – won the Oscar for Best Picture. This year, Black Panther came to show that these conflicts haven’t been solved and that there are still deep scars in our society due to the colonization and racial segregation. The major conflict of Black Panther is how we deal with these marks and how they are struggles faced by black citizens every day: they are marginalized, observed and underestimated. Furthermore, the movie raised the question if violence and revenge are the best way to handle all that.

Image Source: Disney/Marvel Studios via IMDb

The polemic party stated that “Black Is Beautiful” and encouraged woman to use their hairs as they are, just like the decision of Camille Friend, responsible for the hair setup of the production, to work only with the natural hair of the actors. Also, we see female representative in such a strong-not-forced way with the figures greatly represented by Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright and Angela Bassett.

Indeed, there is still much to be improved in our society and I’m grateful for Black Panther being a beautiful, significant a powerful movie that will open many doors for visibility and fundamental debates.

My name is Isabella and I'm from São Paulo, Brazil. Writing about movies, books, traveling and feminism is one of my passions. When I'm not chasing my journalism degree in Cásper Líbero I'm usually painting, reading or exploring my city. You can follow me and my adventures on @isabellahaydin
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