Black Excellence: Black Panther

Angel Emodi, A&E Writer

Nowadays, we see‭ more diversity in‬ media. People of color, or POC, are represented more in movies, music, shows, and awards. POC are receiving more recognition as directors, actors, and artists. Women are also taking more dominant roles in the industry. Hispanic, Asian, and Black women are excelling at roles that burst with culture. However, there is still a lack of movies created for the underrepresented. Children of color are tired of seeing majority white superheroes on the big screen. The inability to relate to someone of the same skin color on a cast saddens many.

As Black History Month rolls in this February, Marvel Studios’ Black Panther does what no one else has ever achieved. Marvel produces Black Panther, the first black superhero movie to hit the theaters. Black Panther stars well-known black actors such as Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Daniel Kaluuya, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, and more. With a primarily black cast and black director Ryan Coogler, Black Panther excites and fulfills the public, especially black people.

Black Panther is officially released to the public on February 16th. The following excerpt describes the movie’s plot: “[A]fter the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, [T’Challa], returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and Black Panther—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of Black Panther to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life” (Marvel Studios).

Black Panther is already spilling with black excellence. It hits 99% on Rotten Tomatoes before the movie even got released! Critics are calling Black Panther an “answered prayer” to kids who have desired superheroes who “look like them” all their life (Rolling Stone). GQ’s Olive Pometsey states that Black Panther “is more than an exercise in diversity for Hollywood, it’s a lesson on how to recover and move forward from society’s mistakes.” Black Panther is an example of where Hollywood needs to be. Critic Stephen Whitty states that Black Panther “matters”. In a country full of different ethnicities and backgrounds, more diversity needs to be shown on the big screen.

Marvel doesn’t stop at an all black cast for the film. The soundtrack of Black Panther is also produced by primarily black artists. Hip hop star power such as Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Jorja Smith, SZA, Khalid, and Vince Staples dominate the Black Panther album. National Public Radio states that the film and the soundtrack create the “blackest production” ever.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience this huge advancement in Hollywood. Visit your local theaters and watch Black Panther. See for yourself how well Marvel actually did. Oh, and Happy Black History Month!