So. Black Panther.
What can I say that hasn't already been said, really?
What more can I add to the conversation of how breathtaking it is to see such a broad range of diverse African culture represented so beautifully in a mainstream Marvel film?
How can I improve the ever-growing commentary on the fact that movies like this and Wonder Woman are signs that the Hollywood film machine is actually capable of evolving, of improving, of deepening its inclusivity?
I mean, it's got to mean something that both of these films have rocketed to the top of their respective fields' critical acclaim and popularity. With Wonder Woman ranking as the highest-grossing superhero origin film in movie history and Black Panther rapidly establishing itself as "the biggest non-sequel solo superhero movie of all time", I can only hope that this can begin to conclusively prove that this recent turn in filmmaking is being hungrily--ravenously, even--devoured by a public that is ready, at long last, to see itself properly represented in film.
It's this sentiment, this idea right here that is so vastly important. I cannot sing this movie's praises enough, people. Even if you step away from the massive cultural empowerment present in this film, you should still be left in awe by the gender empowerment in this film. Every female character in this movie demonstrates a rock-star level powerhouse of independence, strength, character depth, and inspiration, directly on par with the subtly regal grace of frontrunner Chadwick Boseman's character T'Challa. I walked out of the movie theater and knew, immediately knew, that when I watch this film with my own children years from now, I will look at my son, point to T'Challa, and say, "He is what we should aspire to be as honorable men." I will look at my daughter, point to Nakia, Okoye, Ramonda, Shuri, and Ayo, and say, "They are who you can look up to as powerful, fierce, and beautiful women."
This movie is a cultural boulder thundering down the hill. It will not stop, nor can it be stopped. The importance of Black Panther has no time for naysayers who attempt to nitpick it into a corner of obscurity.
Is your self-importance so precious to you that you must stoop to such painfully obvious levels? Of course Wakanda does not exist. It's a work of fiction--like that would alter its importance and power in any way. As if this were not enough--
Yeah, because why the hell do we need "another" black superhero movie? Wasn't Blade enough? Wasn't Independence Day, Men in Black, Hancock, and Django Unchained enough? (Please note my virulent and bitter sarcasm here.) Why should these earlier and foundation-laying black lead performances make this latest proud addition any less significant?
As I said earlier, this film is a boulder that cannot and will not be stopped by the Sisyphean attempts of these self-congratulating sycophants. To quote "All The Stars", written by Kendrick Lamar and SZA for Black Panther:
"This may be the night that my dreams let me know all the stars are closer, all the stars are closer..."
In the wake of this monumental film, all the stars certainly do feel closer for so many more boys and girls, reaching out to take the mantles of their favorite superheroes.
As always, stay safe, friends and readers. Godspeed.