Black Panther: Why Representation is so Important

It’s awesome to see so many people so pumped about the Black Panther movie.

When I saw the preview a month or so ago, it stuck with me. And rightly so, it’s a stunning nearly all-black cast that is Afrocentric themed, coming from Disney-Marvel and directed by Ryan Coogler of Fruitvale Station fame. There is something so intensely powerful about this blockbuster – especially now – in our political climate.

The movie has already raked in $361 million as of Sunday, February 18, according to comScore. It’s the 15th highest global opening weekend of all-time. 

From the New York Times:

The Disney-Marvel movie ‘Black Panther,’ which finds the superheroic T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) returning to his remote African kingdom to assume the throne, roared into theaters over the weekend as a full-blown cultural event, breaking box office records and shattering a myth about the overseas viability of movies rooted in black culture.

The overwhelming response from people around the world – via Internet – is that WE WANT MORE.

From MarketWatch:

The narrative that films with black leads do not travel overseas will no longer be accepted after this weekend. This movie, as well as ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ which stars a biracial girl and is the highest budgeted film directed by an African American woman, Ava DuVernay, opens on March 9. These films are both game-changers for an industry that is so desperate for an update.

And from Time: 

This is not just a movie about a black superhero; it’s very much a black movie. It carries a weight that neither Thor nor Captain America could lift: serving a black audience that has long gone under­represented. For so long, films that depict a reality where whiteness isn’t the default have been ghettoized, marketed largely to audiences of color as niche entertainment, instead of as part of the mainstream.

I’m not going to write a review of this movie because there are so many out there who can articulate it way better than me. But know this: the story, the feminist perspective and philosophy, the exploration of good and bad, the aesthetic, the warrior/hero struggle, the dialogue and humor, the pride, the intelligence, the respect of ancestry and importance of family, has struck a chord.

Representation is everything. 



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