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Black Panther Movie

Carvell Wallace’s discussion of the importance of Black Panther for the African-American community is an important one and helped me understand the movie more after I watched it. I remember going to the theaters to see the movie and not quite understanding why there was so much excitement around it fully. Wallace clears this up and shows the ways Black Panther empowers its black audience in ways other black films do not.The most important point that Wallace made for me was how there have been other superhero movies with a black superhero lead. The difference with Black Panther was that it was the first superhero movie that depicted not only a black superhero lead, but it depicted black people with “a lot of agency.” The film was “seeped very specifically and purposefully in its blackness.” 

I think this is an interesting contrast from just talking about a film with a black lead or leads. Black Panther shows a civilization where black people have thrived and been at the forefront of invention and technology which white people want from them. It’s the kind of story that in the past would have only been written about white people. It doesn’t show the typical black narrative of showing black suffering and redemption. It shows black people thriving without the constant discussion of  their suffering.

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3 Comments

  1. Nicolette Romley Nicolette Romley

    As someone who has taken for granted the privilege to have their race constantly represented in all forms of media, Carvell Wallace’s discussion of Black Panther really helped me gain perspective on how important the movie was and is to the black community. I like how you emphasized that the problem isn’t just the lack of representation of black people, but how black people are represented.

  2. Sara Messervey Sara Messervey

    Yes! Afrofuturism was definitely the driving feature of this story, and what made it so empowering to its black audiences. We have far too little diversity in our media and content in the United States, despite such a diverse body of citizens and residents. Films like Black Panther are revolutionary in the voices that they give platform to. This film presents a new story and a new body of experiences in the familiar and widely popular franchise of Marvel. Plus it was plainly *good*. I am obsessed with this film and its cultural relevance!

  3. Katherine Fell Katherine Fell

    I felt the same way as you when I walked out of the theater after seeing Black Panther for the first time. While I had enjoyed the film and liked seeing so much diversity in the mainstream genre of the Marvel franchise, I didn’t quite understand all of the hype and subsequent Oscar nominations that the film received. What I realized, though, was that watching this movie as a person of color is a very different experience from watching it as a white person. Different experiences can inform vastly different perspectives, and we must keep this in mind as media and entertainment continues to diversify.

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