Black Panther and Why It Matters

It has been more than two months since the film, Black Panther, was released and honestly, I am still not over it. Not only does it hold multiple box office records in the two plus months that it has been out, but it also means so much to the black community as a whole.

Let’s start with the records that Black Panther has set. Black Panther is the 10th highest grossing movie of all time, raking in a cool $1.3 billion worldwide so far. It is also the highest grossing superhero film of all time. Yes. Of. All. Time. Black Panther is also the highest grossing movie from a black director with Ryan Coogler surpassing The Fate of the Furious director, F. Gary Gray, for the title. Black Panther has plenty of other records that it has acquired, all of them well-deserved. And for a film to only have been out for two months and to have achieved records like this is really something to brag about.

Image Courtesy of Den of Geek

Now, with all of the amazing achievements that Black Panther has gained, one of these accomplishments is one that affects an entire community, specifically the black community. Black Panther has successfully made its place in the black community with its portrayal of a black superhero, which is rarely seen on the big screen. Not only does it have a black superhero on the main screen, but the movie itself also has a deeper influence on the black community.

Ever since I was a little girl, I had always seen white, male superheroes, such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, etc., all around me. Whether it was in movies, as action figures or on backpacks, it was something that was always portrayed as the orthodox image of the “ideal superhero” and I considered it to be normal. But as a young African-American girl, in my mind I constantly thought, “Why aren’t there any superheroes that look like me?” I mean there is Storm, who, while she is pretty popular among those who read comic books, wasn’t represented to the mainstream audience like the others. So, when I heard that a film adaption of Black Panther was coming out, with a cast consisting of the majority of talented black actors and actresses, I was ecstatic!

The crew consists of stars such as Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Daina Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, and plenty of other great performers. These actors portrayed black superheroes as strong characters, and this was something that the young girl inside of me has been looking for. One character that particularly stands out is Danai Gurira’s character, Okoye. She was the strong black female character that wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, but wasn’t the stereotypical black female lead that Hollywood and films tend to show. It’s something that I know that I have been looking for in a film for the past 10+ years of my life. And I know that there are little black girls and boys out there that will see this film and have a superhero and protagonist that looks like them. Knowing that they get to experience it at such a young age and have such powerful, intelligent and fearless characters to see makes me extremely happy.

So, if you still have not seen Black Panther yet, go buy your tickets right now because it is not only a great film, but it has more meaning to it than what is just on the screen.