Why Marvel’s Black Panther is Significant to Black Representation in Hollywood

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Growing up as a fan of comic books and superhero films I saw two reboots of Superman, Batman, The Fantastic Four, the coming together of the X-Men AND Avengers but I never got to see a black superhero.

When Marvel announced that they in the works of coming out with Black Panther, I was ecstatic and apparently so was everybody else. The movie broke the record of selling the most presale tickets for a non-Star Wars movie a few months prior to it coming out.Photo: Den of Geek

Although Black Panther isn’t the first black superhero to ever exist, the new movie brings together often overlooked black talent to create something amazing. The title character, played by Chadwick Boseman, isn’t the only star of the film. Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Angela Bassett are just a few of the A-List names in the movie.  It’s refreshing to see black stars play in roles that they traditionally play in historical or comedy genres because of the few parts available to them in black Hollywood.

Hollywood is known for its lack of roles of variety for its black actors. Black Panther is breaking the mold and giving black actors the opportunity to explore new territory. According to TIME, “Black Panther is poised to prove to Hollywood that African-American narratives have the power to generate profits from all audiences. And, more important, that making movies about black lives is part of showing that they matter.”

Photo: Variety

The movie’s soundtrack is also causing a lot of buzz because it is produced and features one of the best rappers of all time, Kendrick Lamar. The album feature some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop/R&B like SZA, Future and The Weeknd. “…the accompanying soundtrack uplifts Black people in a crucial time in society where many are anticipating our downfall. But instead, we take control of our voice and especially our art,” says Fuse writer Bianca Gracie.

I hope that Black Panther inspires a new generation of little black boys and girls across the world to be whatever they dream, even a superhero.