Why We Need the "Black Panther" Movie

The next time you find yourself asking, “why is a primarily black production like 'Black Panther' so important?,” Know that it is important because we need to remember the black boys who are being raised in a world where they are seen as “other” or as a morally corrupt force threatening the safety of America. We also need to consider the young black girls growing up in our country, who are constantly thrown under a lens of sexism and are discriminated against because of their skin color. These are the two most important factors because any change in our social world starts with the children we are raising. The next generation that grows up is supposed to be a product of the environment that is around them. If the media continues to be a positive inspiration to young black children who are often told that they cannot succeed in this world, then this will hopefully bring an end to prejudiced acts discrimination and violence that members of the black community often face.

If you are a white person who is reading this, let me ask you - how many shows or movies can you remember in your childhood where your race was not represented?

In many cases, I am sure that your answer will be "not many." Now, think about how it must feel to be a child and not see anyone who remotely looks like you portrayed in movies. No super heroes, no race car drivers or mystery detectives. I’m sure they would feel exactly as you felt – like it was perfectly normal for someone to be who they wanted to be, and that it was perfectly attainable. We as a society should not congratulate a director for casting a black actor. We shouldn’t be shocked when they are cast, either. The media we consume needs to become more accepting of diversity. We need to remember that it is important to always encourage each other – especially our youth – to rise above the external. Give everyone a chance to be great, because everyone does have a chance, no matter their race or background.

Others who find themselves asking the question above also tend to ask: should it matter what race the acting cast is?

The answer is yes and no. It should matter in the sense that the media does not portray the black community and people of color in a negative way. Race should not change another person's view about that character, therefore race should and does not matter. However, it does because we live in a world where race heavily clouds the judgment of people in power against the oppressed groups.

The movie "Black Panther" has already had a positive effect on the black community. Many people across generations have expressed their thanks to the movie for accurately portraying black characters. From the costume design, to the production and even to the sense of detail and care that went into the characters to bring the comic series back to life. Even down to the care that was put into the original movie soundtrack, it is reassuring to members of the black community that there is content for them to consume that is completely inclusive and is even praised from people of color, not used as a subject for discourse. I am excited for the black community because I feel that this movie is something that has connected us with each other and has made us more confident to be unapologetically black. We no longer have to feel like we don’t have any space to shine and show off our good qualities. So thank you, "Black Panther," for helping us realize our worth. Now we know that we are worth it.

Be mindful of these points from the perspective from the black community, and consider experiencing this moment from a different point of view. Be grateful that there is room for more representation in Hollywood. Be proud of the fact that our country is progressing – slowly but surely – to a place where we can become all around more accepting of everyone, and not to pass judgment on any person because of their race. I hope that you keep in mind that this is revolutionary for the black community, and that movies like these will inspire work from future generations to come. Remember that there are many different perspectives from people in this world, and that your experiences in life will never be the same as someone else’s, especially from a marginalized community. Lastly, enjoy the movie, and continue to support media that positively portrays everyone, regardless of who they are.


A member of the black community


Image Credit: Cover, 1