There’s nothing like a movie and a dinner with my wife and two of our best friends to end a great Saturday evening.
Growing up as an avid Marvel comics fan, Black Panther was never my favorite superhero. Much to the dismay of many, Spidey held that special bro-mance position for me. There was more to his character that I could relate to- a young boy, fighting to find his place in the world, while constantly being beaten down. My opinion hasn’t changed after all these years. The older I get, the more difficult I find it to be impressed by movies, but I have to say that Black Panther has restored my faith. There is too much to rave about in just one blog entry but the script, the characters, and the special effects all meshed together to create some of the best entertainment for the two-plus hours I was in the theatre. It’s definitely up there in my top 5 Marvel movies.
This movie did what many can’t. It portrayed the African culture in a positive, powerful and beautiful light. The strength of communities coming together to preserve a way of life, while extending help to less prosperous areas of the world was breathtaking. It was amazing to see the amount of power and responsibility that was betrothed to the female characters in the movie. Not only were they considered to be equal to men but were also given positions of authority and dominance. I have three daughters who grew up in a world that often portrayed black women as being over the top, loud and obnoxious. The stereotypes were often comical and led them to become hyper-aware of their actions and the way they were preserved by the rest of the world. Now, if a movie like Black Panther had been present during their childhood they may have grown up with the confidence of a warrior. They may not have felt shame because their hair was too thick, they may not have fought with their personal self-image, their self-worth and they may not have struggled to find other women who looked like them to look up to. What this movie has done for black girls and women, black culture, in general, is both inspiring and auspicious.
With that being said, what didn’t impress me was a few bull-shit comments that I saw popping up on social media. Some of these left me shaking my head- I’m sure people just post crap just to get a reaction, no matter how head-up-their-own-ass these comments are. I’m not sure why it is so difficult for the world to see progress and welcome it, especially amidst the negative and heart breaking events that are occurring world- wide. I personally think that it’s because people refuse to put themselves into the shoes of others that these hateful comments are put out into social media. Whether it’s regarding race, gender, sexual orientation- whatever the situation may be, more people NEED to put themselves in the position of those around them and try to understand what it’s like to be them. Until we all find a way to understand and try to find a common connection between each other we shall continue to be divided.
Okay – less of my rant and more about my movie experience. The combination of various African tradition, artwork, and culture were great, after doing further research I discovered that those involved in the movie used elements from actual tribes to bring authenticity to the film. I even saw some elements of the Aztecs in there! Whether it’s strong black females, culture, adventure, action or understanding you’re looking for- then this is the film for you! Positive roll models – check. Insane villains – check. Moral compass – check. Fantastic special effects – check. You know what? Just go watch the movie.
Ps – I wonder if I can get my wife to shave her head!