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Why the Women of Black Panther are my New Heroes

Marvel just broke Box Office records with their new movie, Black Panther, which made its highly anticipated debut on February 16th, 2018. The film grossed a whopping $242 million during its opening weekend alone, beating out The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, and Deadpool. Everything about this film is to die for; the art, costume design, and of course the cast. These are only a few traits out of many that make this movie so special. What really takes the cake is the female empowering cast that, in my opinion, made this movie one of Marvel’s best cinematic pieces.

When you compare Black Panther to other Marvel movies, you notice that there is a big difference when it comes to the hero to heroin ratio. In movies such as The Avengers, you have 5 male heroes and only 1 female hero, whereas in Black Panther there are 6 female characters, which also happens to be the most women present in a Marvel Cinematic Universe film EVER.

The cast is made up of actresses Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Florence Kasumba,

Letitia Wright, and Sydelle Noel. This film is not only a breakthrough for black representation in film, but it’s also a breakthrough for women in the industry. The women of Wakanda (a fictional African country where Black Panther is from) were portrayed with the same level of fierceness, character development

and depth as the men characters. The movie depicts that Black Panther’s persona (T’Challa) would cease to exist if it weren’t for the women who got him there in the first place.

The female characters didn’t depend on T’Challa’s actions, instead they had their own problems to resolve and had their own storylines, which is absolutely refreshing to see. This is refreshing because many of MCU’s female characters usually pine after the male superheroes because they’re portraying their lovers, or they’re helping the male character “save the world”. The women of Wakanda took matters into their own hands, and the best part is, they didn’t need superpowers to do it.

These women are fierce and strong, all on their own. For example, Shuri, who is T’Challa’s little sister, is a scientific genius. She invents machinery and weaponry using the advanced technology of her country and manages to save one of the white male characters in the film, which is a complete twist compared to the regular white male savior plot line of many superhero movies (and all films in general).

Female representation in superhero films (and all other movies) should become a common reoccurrence. Films are very influential to the people who view them. We need strong female roles to be an example to other women that they can be just as strong as these characters. This film is a great way to show young girls and women all over the world that they matter, and that the world wouldn’t be able to function without them. This is a big win for women in film, but more specifically it’s a win for Black women. This movie is great to demonstrate to young black girls that they should feel beautiful and comfortable in their skin, that it doesn’t make them weak, instead it’s their superpower and they should love who they are and cherish their flawlessness.

Hi! My name is April, I'm a sophomore at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami, the heart of the city. I will be graduating next May with an AA in Mass Communications/Journalism. My goal is to transfer to a 4-year university and get a BFA or BA in Film and TV Production. I am the President of Her Campus MDC at my school and a Co-CC along with my partner Valerie, who is our Editor-in-Chief and my right-hand man. We have a lot to bring to the table this year and we can't wait to see what the future holds for HC MDC.
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