The Amazing Women of Black Panther

This month on February 24, the 91st Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby theater and one of the most talked about movies, “Black Panther,” has been nominated for seven Academy Awards. Among the seven is Best Picture which is recognized as one of, if not the most coveted awards of the night and it will be interesting to see if it can win against other hugely successful movies like “A Star is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Besides all the critical acclaim, “Black Panther” has sparked a phenomenon in the African American community and across the world with its representation and appreciation of African culture. From the on-screen cast to the behind-the-scenes crew, they all contributed to the making of a movie that revolutionized the superhero genre and what it means to have a diverse movie in the mainstream media and pop culture. This movie also had amazing women both on and off-screen that I would like to highlight in this article.

I would like to start off with all wonderful leading ladies of the film starting with THE queen Angela Bassett. Bassett has been in the business since the ’80s, receiving her fair amount of accolades such as winning a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” Her role in this film showed a mother, widow and queen of a thriving kingdom and she proves that you can endure and thrive through anything.

Ever since Lupita Nyong’o’s break out roll in “12 Years a Slave,” in which she won Best Supporting Actress, she has been in many box office hits, including several films in the “Star Wars” franchise and is even cast in the highly anticipated “Us” directed by Jordan Peele. In her personal life, she supports historic preservation and speaks out about sexual harassment, working women and animal rights.  Her character showed a warrior that, yes, is in love, but that does not mean she can’t take care of herself.      

Danai Gurira is mostly known for her character in the Walking Dead, Michonne. Like Nyong’o, she too has taken part in speaking out and helping aid in the education of women. Her character Okoye displayed that duties and loyalties are noble and virtuous. 

Letitia Wright is the youngest of the group but certainly not the least. Wright is a very up and coming actress who I hope will continue to push the boundaries of what women of color can do in Hollywood and I can’t wait to see what she will pursue next in her career.  Her character proved that no matter how young you are, you are capable of being a smart individual that can stand up and fight for herself.

 

These next two ladies work behind the scenes to create the world of Wakanda and make sure it came together. Hannah Beachler nominated for production design, and Ruth Carter, nominated for costume design, were constantly collaborating, talking about sets and tribes and places to draw inspiration from, all to achieve the finished product in the film. Both women agree that now people will realize that this is the new normal for film.     

 

All these women display strength and prove how badass women of color can be and that inclusivity of everyone can create new opportunities, storylines and narratives that have not ever been seen before. Through them, little girls everywhere have new role models and heroes to look up to.