Black Panther Cast

By Kanisha Parks

Black Panther
comes out next weekend and it’s already broken Fandango’s advance ticket sales
record, becoming their #1 selling superhero of all time. Needless to say, we’ve
been waiting for this movie long before its official trailer dropped back
in October 2017
but now the anticipation is through the roof. My entire
family and I have our tickets and outfits ready. #IssaCelebration. According to The
Hollywood Reporter
, “Reviews are in for Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, and they are easily the best for a Marvel Studios
project to date, with almost everyone left in awe not only of the movie’s
ambition, but its success in achieving that ambition on the big screen. As of
Tuesday morning, the film has a 100
percent score on Rotten Tomatoes
.”
The fact that this movie is called Black Panther is reason
enough to raise intrigue, but there are several other reasons it’s a huge deal for the world, but specifically, the black community.

Chaswick Boseman & Michael B. Jordan
1. For Us, By Us. Directed
by Ryan Coogler, (who also
directed Creed and Fruitvale Station), Black
Panther
stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther alongside fellow
heavy-hitters Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia
Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. “Black Panther marks
the first time that a major studio has greenlit a black superhero movie with an
African-American director and a primarily black cast” (Variety).
Our representation in this film is present throughout: from
the title to the director and actors. Even though it technically wasn’t made just for black people, we’re definitely laying
claims and will likely constitute the greatest support for the film’s sales.
On whether or not a white director could’ve done Black
Panther, Chadwick Boseman told Variety,
“Well, is it possible for them to make it? It could be, yes. Would they have
his perspective? Probably not. It wouldn’t be nuanced in the same way because
they wouldn’t have the same conflict. They don’t have the African-American
conflict that exists: Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you have an
ancestry that is very hard to trace.”
Chadwick Boseman
2. It’s Been a Long
Time Comin.’ 
We’ve had black roles in other superhero movies: Will Smith in
Suicide Squad,” and Halle Berry as “Catwoman,” and do we even have to talk
about Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four?
Other attempts at black superheroes as leads include Meteor Man, Blankman, Steel, Spawn, and most notably, Blade.
In fact, Wesley Snipes even wanted to play Black Panther back in the early ‘90s
but the vision was remarkably different—focused on cultural diversity instead
of centered around black power—and never came to fruition. The time is now.
“We’ve been waiting to see ourselves onscreen, flying
through the air and running across buildings and dodging laserblasts from
bearded colonialists our entire lives. The future is Ryan Coogler, Chadwick
Boseman, T’Challa, Black Panther. The future is here on February 16th
(Tre Johnson, Rolling
Stone
).
When asked why this is a good moment in history for this movie
to be made, Chadwick Boseman responded, “Everybody is excited about the
opportunity to do something that we should have already done. People are
excited about seeing new stuff, but I think they’re extra excited about seeing
stuff they should have seen already” (CNET).
Dunai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o & Florence Kasumba
3. Strong. Black.
Women.
Yes, Black Panther is the lead character, but he doesn’t shine
alone: he is surrounded by strong black women, which is truly a positive for
black women and girls alike.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, an undercover spy for the
fictitious African nation Wakanda in the film, says, “The man’s power does not
diminish because the woman is assuming hers (power). So, just because I have
power it does not mean that I threaten the man’s position.” Always an advocate
for women and girls asserting themselves, Nyong’o adds: “Little girls watching
it will perhaps, they won’t be so afraid of their power. We have four women in
this film that are powerful in very different ways and that is really exciting
to have that be the thing that our young ones are watching” (Hindustan
Times
).
With the current culture of how women are being treated in
America, it’s important for women, especially black women, to be appropriately
represented in the media. I’m glad that we have the opportunity to see
ourselves represented on-screen as we truly are: beautiful, bold, brave,
powerful women.

And I’m even gladder that we finally have our iconic
superhero movie, created from start to finish with us in mind. It’s about time.

Why are you excited to see Black Panther?

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