Diversity now, Wakanda forever

‘Black Panther’ owns box office, social discourse



Art by Kenny Yi

The Marvel movie “Black Panther” came out in theaters on Friday, February 16. It is much more than your average superhero movie: it is an important step in history leading to the wanted racial equality in the movie business. As Time magazine states, “It carries a weight that neither Thor nor Captain America could lift: serving a black audience that has long gone underrepresented. Black Panther will offer proof that a depiction of a reality of something other than whiteness can make a ton of money.” Black Panther is not just an amazing superhero movie, but it is a mark of diversity in Hollywood.

Along with getting 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, the cast of the movie is predominantly African-American. Most of the movies made in Hollywood have primarily white casts. Back in the day, especially during the time the character was created, in the 1950’s and 60’s, such a film would have been unthinkable. Black Panther is certainly a response to hate and bigotry.

TIME magazine author Jamil Smith best portrays what the message of the movie is: “What seems like just another entry in an endless parade of super­hero movies is actually something much bigger. It’s cultural footprint is already enormous. It’s a movie about what it means to be black in both America and Africa—and, more broadly, in the world.”

Along with the cast of the movie being a very important factor on why it is so successful, the history is very meaningful. Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby during the Civil Rights era, their character was based off of the political party called “The Black Panthers.”, a political party that supported having more black representation and power in the United States.

The world of Black Panther, Wakanda, is filled with futuristic tech: instantly-acting medicine, indestructible bodysuits and, of course, laser beams. Wakanda is an ideal living society, a utopia. The main conflict of this movie comes from this. T’Challa’s (Black Panther’s) cousin Erik Killmonger is trying to bring the Wakandan technology into the rest of the world. However, T´Challa does not understand the impact of it. The greater setting of the film is a continent ravaged by poverty and human trafficking, and yet right next to them Wakanda flourishes.

Black Panther is a movie that everyone should have the opportunity to see The incredible, revolutionary film changed the course of movie history for Africans and minorities alike. Black Panther has the power to change the world. Wakanda Forever.