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What “Black Panther” means to the black community

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Imagine this, a young black child, boy or girl, walks into a movie theater. They pay for their tickets, buy some snacks, and sit down in the theater. As they sit through previews, they are on the edge of their seat waiting for the movie to start.

Finally, it begins. “Black Panther” sets up the history of Wakanda, a fictional African country that is one of the richest cities in the world. They catch a glimpse of King T’Challa, a fictional hero and king.

A king that looks like them.

“Black Panther”, a multi-millionaire box office hit, has taken the silver screen and Hollywood itself by storm, garnering so much attention and so much hype even before a trailer came.

“There hasn’t been a Marvel movie featuring a  black superhero. It’s an accomplishment that should’ve happened like 20 years – no – 10 years ago. I’m glad [black people] finally got the respect they deserve” said Joel Pope, junior.

The movie proves that diversity can make it in Hollywood. This movie proves that little black boys and little black girls can make it if they try. It proves that we don’t have to look a certain way to be powerful. It teaches us that we can be kings and queens in our own skin.

People may disagree with this by saying, “it’s just a superhero movie. It’s not that deep.” But they’re wrong.

They’re so very, very wrong.

For kids, representation matters. For the little black boys and little black girls that have grown up in the presence of our first black President, this movie can usher in a new future of diverse kids comfortable in their own skin.

This movie means we don’t have to hide in the shadows behind superheroes like Captain America, Iron Man, and Ant-Man. We won’t have to stay silent and wait for the Falcon and War Machine to make a comedic line or be the “token black friend.”

We finally have our own hero that stands alone, one who’s not a comic relief, one that’s not the butt of a joke, one that’s not for a punchline. One who is finally taken seriously.

“It’s great because [“Black Panther”] shows that black people can be anything they want without having a crutch” continued Pope.

“It felt good to see someone like me kick some butt not as a sidekick” said Aaron Boone, freshman.

Not only was T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, a strong figure for young black children to see and look up to, but the Dora Milaje also manages to kick some major butt and give young black girls some hope about how strong they can be in the future.

“[The Dora Milaje] scared me, they scared me more than the actual hero” continued Boone.

“They gave a lot of black girls hope that they can be more than housewives and pop singers, and that they can defend their country and fight for themselves whether it be metaphorically or literally” concluded Pope.

“Black Panther” in itself is more than a movie- it’s a political message that influences black pride and teaches black people to love themselves in their own skin.

The message portrayed in “Black Panther” shows how one can become anything, no matter their race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other form of categorization.

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6 Comments

6 Responses to “What “Black Panther” means to the black community”

  1. Katie on March 8th, 2018 8:05 pm

    Excellent

    [Reply]

  2. Marlene B. Rivero on March 9th, 2018 3:55 am

    Wow, Ava keep up your good work, and one day you will be a great reporter or should I say journalist! Set your goal or goals and go for it.

    [Reply]

  3. zoey on March 12th, 2018 12:31 pm

    nice artichoke

    [Reply]

  4. KLA on April 10th, 2018 10:18 am

    Nice work Ava!!!! <3

    [Reply]

  5. Jordyn on April 10th, 2018 4:21 pm

    This was well put together and I’m glad you wrote this

    [Reply]

  6. Veroncia on April 18th, 2018 4:21 pm

    Great article. So proud of you.

    [Reply]

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What “Black Panther” means to the black community