Black Panther is not your average superhero movie

Blockbuster gives inspiration to African American culture


Lupita Nyong’o, Chadwick Boseman, and Danai Gurira shine as the newest icons to join Marvel family | Disney

The movie “Black Panther” successfully celebrates black culture through the representation of African American actors and actresses playing powerful roles.

Wakanda, the sci-fi society where most of the movie takes place, portrays different aspects of an African society. Different traditions, celebrations, and clothing are all portrayed to form a culture of power, strength, and intelligence.

In the eyes of the rest of the world, it is a third world country. In actuality, it is far more advanced both socially and technically than anywhere on earth.

The white characters in this movie are portrayed as either villains or outsiders who are just sidekicks. All roles of power belong to African Americans, especially the roles of women in the film.

The film takes on non-traditional roles of women in film. Their strength is used as defense to their society and culture. In Wakanda, there is no difference between male power and female power. The Black Panther himself is constantly being guided by a group of warrior women to ensure his safety.

Shuri, the Black Panther’s sister, is in charge of all the technological advances. Commonly, this role is played by men, but Letitia Wright uses her intelligence to show the strength of women.

From its portrayal in the movie, there is no poverty and only peaceful tribes in Wakanda. While watching, I saw that the society was able to work every situation out by coming together as one. When making T’Challa the official king of Wakanda, all the different tribes came together and their voices were equally important.

The film brings about different forms of power through the icon of the Black Panther. To really be successful as the king of Wakanda, you need to understand the society as a whole and how it functions as one. T’Challa, the original Black Panther, is able to use his power to represent his culture proudly and save those in need.

Wakanda has a primary focus on doing what is best and having a leader/king who supports the needs of all in the society. Killmonger, the other Black Panther who overtook T’Challa, is an example of corrupt power. His inability to reach out and understand the needs of everyone in his society showed that he was not fit to lead them.

Another powerful statement came from Killmonger no longer being the Black Panther. While watching, I was able to see the society of Wakanda go through struggles to discover what was best for the society as a whole. This message strongly supported the culture of Wakanda.

But it is not only the men who are doing the saving. Nakia, another powerful figure to the society, is on a mission to protect African women from being kidnapped from warlords. African Americans are portrayed as the solutions to the problems instead of the villains or the bad guys.

There are many times during the movie where the Black Panther looks to the women for guidance, and they recognize that they know more than themselves in certain situations. 

The confidence the female characters bring to the film shows the power behind their culture. Their confidence is because of the success of their culture. The equal rights given to women allows for Wakanda to grow with intelligence and strength.

The usual “James Bond” type character is a white male, but “Black Panther” creates a similar powerful character as an African American. T’Challa, the original black panther, starts by protecting the legacy of Africans in Wakanda. But, after being challenged he is insightful enough to see the truth that he needs to re-establish a balance in the world.

The film portrays powerful and successful images of African Americans. It is an image that society needs to see. I thought it was a beautiful way to represent the strength behind the culture while providing a thoughtful plot as well.