Features

Black Panther Brought African Culture Mainstream

Kyra Black

Finally, a black superhero on the big screen. This was the most anticipated movie in 2018. Sandie Angulo Chen from Common Sense Media said, “Ryan Coogler’s masterful superhero drama is unlike any other, featuring outstanding acting, breathtaking art direction, fascinating royal intrigue, memorable action sequences, and surprising depth.”

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Photo courtesy of knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu

If you are someone who doesn’t love action packed movies, you’ll find something to love about “Black Panther.” It’s so much more than violence. The movie has love, heartbreak and a little mystery. “Black Panther” took you through all the emotions you could take in 2 hours and 15 minutes. It really is a most see if you haven’t already seen it.

According to Rebecca Rubin form Variety.com, “Black Panther” is the highest grossing Superhero movies of all time which made $631million. Ryan Coogler’s “Black Panther” has now surpassed “The Avenger’s” $623 million and even “Star Wars: The Last Jedi’s” $619 million. “Black Panther” is also the fifth highest grossing movie in the United States of all time behind “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “Avatar”, “Titanic”, and “Jurassic World.” “Black Panther” has also passed the $1 million mark at the global box office in 26 days. Its total worldwide gross is $1.23 billion.

Mastermind Behind the Magic

According to Courtney Connley from CNBC’s website, “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler may not be a household name yet, but as Marvel Studios’ youngest filmmaker he’s already being linked to Hollywood’s biggest power players.” He made a name for himself with his debut film “Fruitvale Station” which released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Then in 2015 Coogler’s second film came out called “Creed” which was a spinoff of “Rocky” starring Sylvester Stallone.

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Photo courtesy of Vox.com

The 31-year-old studied at USC film school where his first semester he lived out of his car. Prior to that he went to Sacramento State. He originally went to Saint Mary’s College to play football. He thought he wanted to be a doctor until he took a creative writing class, and that’s what sparked his interest in screenwriting.

African Influence

 Ryan Coogler made sure to have authentic African pieces in the film. From Queen Ramonda wearing the Zulu headdress to one of the elders in Wakanda wearing a lip plate. “The lip-plate (dhebi a tugoin) has become the chief visible distinguishing characteristic of the Mursi and made them a prime attraction for tourists,” says MyJoyOnline.com. The movie also featured the Igbo Mask by Killmonger played by Michael B. Jordan. “Black Panther” also paid tribute to the Basotho Blanket also known as Seana Marena traditionally worn by Sotho People in Southern Africa. Finally, King T’Challa at a point in the movie, is wearing Kente, which is native to Akan ethnic group of South Ghana.

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Photo courtesy of face2faceafrica.com

On-Screen Stars

“Black Panther” lead Chadwick Boseman plays T’Challa, the Black Panther. “Black Panther” is Marvel’s first black superhero. This was not Boseman’s first major movie role. Boseman was the leading role in the Jackie Robinson biopic “42” in 2013 which allowed his career to take off as he was named the Male Star of Tomorrow by the National Association of Theater Owners in 2014 according to Biography.com. His next leading role was “Get on Up,” where he played music icon James Brown. “All the characters he has played, this one was the best,” said Chris. All of his leading role characters are influential African American who made or make a difference in the world.

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Photo courtesy of WaterCoolerConvos.com

The villain in “Black Panther” is played by Michael B. Jordan. Jordan is not new the Coogler’s actors’ roster. Jordan has been the lead role in all three of Coogler’s films. He played Oscar Grant in “Fruitvale Station,” a 22-year-old African American male who was shot and killed my police at an Oakland California subway station. Jordan played Adonis Johnson, the lead in Coogler’s “Creed.”And finally, he played everyone’s favorite villain Eric Killmonger in “Black Panther.”

 

 

Women of Black Panther

“In Black Panther, the Dora Milaje are the personal bodyguards to the King of Wakanda: T’Challa, otherwise known as Black Panther himself. They are fierce warriors, handy with a lethal spear, and unlike most armies, are comprised entirely of women. Translated to “The Adored Ones” in English.” says Jazzi Johnson from Teen Vogue. Many say they are the modern day Dahomey Amazons. A group and warriors dated as far back as the 17thcentury from West Africa. The Dahomey Amazons were among the only all-female military groups in history.

Women Warriors

Photo courtesy of teenvogue.com

The women in “Black Panther” are just as major and influential as the men in the movie. They are strong women on and off the screen. We know that the Dora Milaje were extremely power in the movie but every woman in the film had a major purpose. T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda, who was played by Angela Bassett, was a sign of pose and elegance. She was a mentor to her son the Black Panther. Nakia, played by Lupita Nyong’o, was a Wakandan spy and love interest to King T’Challa. Letitia Wright played kid sister to King T’Challa, Shuri. She was the head the technology research of Wakanda. She was the brains in the movie. Finally, the general of the Dora Milaje, Okoye. The fiercest and strongest warrior in Wakanda was played by Danai Gurira. She showed power, strength and leadership in the film.

Categories: Features, Uncategorized

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