Black Panther movie scores a ‘100’

William T

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Finally, a movie that Blacks as well as the world can identify with. It portrays Blacks in a positive light devoid of Eurocentric projections. Black Panther offer Blacks as well as people of color a chance to experience a film projecting the cultures, traditions, and wisdom of African Americans unencumbered with racial stereotypes and lacking Eurocentric influences.

Black Panther offers so many positive and reflective things highlighting the beauty, intellect and wisdom of what we as a people already know. It literally exposes the world to the complexities and resilience of a powerful and proud race of people, eradicating many of the myths and lies fostered by a media often quick to show Blacks in a negative or exploitative light. It is invigorating and enlightening for Black children as well as other children of other races to see that super heroes and heroines don’t always have to be White.

Black Panther hints at vestiges of the history that Blacks have been subjected to and displays the wisdom of vigilance so as not to be subjected to the evils and wrongdoings of the colonizing and oppressive European countries. While entertaining, full of action and special effects, the movie constantly invites viewers to exercise critical thinking, appealing to their moral compass. It gives moviegoers something they can appreciate whether it is the dynamic super effects, intriguing story line, strong characters, or spectacular costumes and scenery.

More importantly, the movie addresses the African Diaspora, uniting our commonality and importance with universal appeal. It has global appeal and should help open up dialogue about African influence worldwide, through accomplishments in art science, math, techno-logy and all else promoting the advancement of civilization. Areas and fields we were taught and lead to believe were dominated only by Whites are challenged.

Black Panther does not portray Blacks in a subservient or secondary light. Our blackness unapologetically dominates the screen. Our brilliance, endurance, and intellect are highlighted. The qualities and characteristics of the main characters are endearing and noteworthy, devoid of buffoonery and unnecessary sensationalism.

Personally, I was amazed at the costumes that captured traditional African attire, inter-weaving it with futuristic appeal. The cinematography is dazzling and second to none. It is refreshing to see strong, dominant, intelligent Black women equal to the strong men they support or interact with on a day-to-day basis. It is a refreshing and a much needed change to see a basically all Black movie offering the world, especially people of color, the opportunity to admire and support a non White superhero in an African inspired environment.

It is refreshing to see Black people in a movie not living up to the stereotypes and narratives of Whites. Blacks all too often dominate the screen displaying secondary or inferior roles or positions. Strong Black characters worthy of adoration and praise are the norm in Black Panther. Truly it is the shot in the arm needed for many Blacks to feel validated.

There is one point in the movie that really hits home—the deference and respect given to the ancestors by going back and acknowledging their wisdom and carrying it forth. Their descendants grow, vindicating that the ancestors will always be with us. This resonates with me, because I find that (with our Eurocentric teaching and influence) people of African descent are not made to show respect for their ancestors, elders or adults. This respect is an essential part of the customs in many African countries. This connection is an inherent and spiritual must for Africans, regardless of the disconnect other races may have with their own ancestors. It is the wisdom, the blessings, and the guidance of our ancestors that continues to act as our impetus—pushing us forward through the darkness and perils of a wayward and diabolical world too often attempting to forsake and engulf us.

Black Panther taught me personally to stay true to myself and avoid the temptations of this world that in the end may aid in my destruction. No doubt, I will continue to watch Black Panther over and over again, learning something different each time. I am looking forward to more movies showing the world the true beauty, intellect and perseverance of people of color. I feel I speak for the majority of viewers that Black Panther scores a home run.