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Black Panther

Black Panther is a superhero movie based on the Marvel Comics. Black Panther has received numerous awards and nominations. The movie revolves around the country of Wakanda which was founded hundreds of years ago by five African tribes. The most valuable resource and reason for the success in technology and every other aspect of society in Wakanda is the metal vibranium. Wakanda poses asthird world country and hides their advancements in technology from the rest of the world. The film begins which T’Challa becoming king and the new black panther. T’Challa immediately becomes involved with protecting Wakanda’s secret as certain members of Wakandan blog,including one of the Michael B. Jordan’s character, Killmonger who hopes to share Wakanda’s secret with people of African descent around the world to help them conquer their oppressors. Killmonger challenges T’CHalla, throwing him off a cliff, and becoming king. As Wakanda’s secret had the potential to be leaked, stress within the community builds under the new king. Eventually T’Challa returns to save the day, killing Killmonger and restoring order and secrecy.

I have watched this movie before but considering our studies this year, I interpreted it through a different light. Although I enjoyed it the same, perhaps even more the second time around, there were many underlying themes which left me conflicted post-viewing. The biggest conflict and interesting aspect I felt was that there never seems to be a bad guy in the movie. Although members of Wakanda have the ability to help this oppressed, they don’t. On the flip side, as Killmonger seems justified to power from his past wrongs, he seems to have legitimacy in taking the thrown and instilling his ideals. All seriousness aside, I enjoyed the movie thoroughly from costume design to underlying themes. 

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  1. Nicolette Romley Nicolette Romley

    I agree that taking this class has given me a different perspective on Black Panther. I had seen the movie before so watching it this time was less about entertainment and more about analysis of its greater meaning within the black community.

  2. Sara Messervey Sara Messervey

    The beauty of this film is in its Afrofuturism as Wallace described. The idea of a land of black excellence and achievement beyond what the rest of civilization knows about and untouched by colonization is the *dream* particularly for oppressed classes of African Americans. You’re right that in a way, Killmonger isn’t the bad guy–which is why I cried at the end when he died. He deserved the promised land that white colonizers, imperialists, and oppressors have denied him. And it’s fitting that no black man served as a true villain in a movie aimed at empowering its black audiences.

  3. Katherine Fell Katherine Fell

    I agree with you in that the “villain” of this film isn’t really even a villain at all. We hear Killmonger’s perspective and can only sympathize with him, as we have witnessed that racial injustices that have occurred in the United States over many decades. I think that Black Panther highlights the dangers in being passive, and not engaging when one has the means to make a meaningful difference. It definitely leaves the viewer inspired to become more involved in movements that have meaning to them.

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