Why The Black Panther Is So Important To The Black Community

Why The Black Panther Is So Important To The Black Community

Its's about time...
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In 2002, Marvel studios graced the world with the first superhero blockbuster film; “Spiderman.” Following suit with “Spiderman 2,” “Spiderman 3,” and two spin-offs of the series, Marvel went on to create one of the largest Hollywood franchises in the world, telling the stories of a hand full of the comic book company’s most popular heroes. Today, amongst the many Iron Man and Avenger films, one hero in particular has recently been added to the mix; the Black Panther. It may not sound that exciting or important to the general public, but the introduction of the Black Panther is a momentous event for the Black (and comic-lover) community. Not only is he a bad ass superhero, but he’s one of 10 or so major Marvel characters who identifies as Black, something that would’ve been unheard of back in the day. Making his first appearance in the 52nd issue of the Fantastic Four comic books, Black Panther has shifted back and forth in the limelight, falling behind other heroes such as Captain America and the X-Men. Fortunately, Marvel has decided to push Black Panther more into the centerfold with the rest of his comrades by giving him a cameo in the newest “Avengers: Civil War” film and announcing the "Black Panther" film’s release in 2018. With that said, I thought it appropriate to list a few reasons as to why the Black Panther character is so important not only to me, but to my community. He’s a symbol of more than justice; he’s a symbol of pride, hope, and so much more. Here it goes…

1. He’s one of the only black superheroes in the Marvel universe

I know already mentioned this, but when you really look at the ratio of Black superheroes to non-Black superheroes in Marvel comics, there are about 10 that I can think of right off the bat. Blade, Storm, Black Panther, Nick Fury (who’s not even a superhero), Cyborg, Miles Morales (the newest Spiderman), War Machine, Misty Knight, Isaiah Bradley, and Luke Cage are the main heroes that come to mind for me, but that’s about it. Sure, there are African American spin off versions of heroes such as Captain America and Green Lantern that have come and gone, but these 10 heroes are the few that are original, Black characters who’ve steadily stayed the same since their creation. With that said, the Black Panther (with the exception of Storm, War Machine, and Nick Fury) is the only Black superhero who’s apparently worthy enough to be featured as a member of the Avengers (an all White superhero group) and have his own movie. That in itself is extremely momentous. It’s not every day we see Black superheroes on the big screen, let alone as the main character.


2. Representation matters

This is an obvious one, but the fact that we’re just now being represented and seen on screen in heroic roles such as Black Panther, Jackie Robinson (“42”), and Jesse Owens (“Race”) is excitingly frustrating. For so long, Black actors have been forced to usually play roles like the comic relief, the ghetto best friend, or the thug villain (with the exception of actors such as Denzel Washington and Viola Davis). But with the introduction of the Black Panther in the film industry, it’s proof Black actors can play more than the stereotypical roles we’ve been reduced to. We can play heroes, we can play kings, we can play the role of one of the most important members of the biggest Marvel superhero coalition, and so much more. Needless to say, we can play dope roles.

3. It’s a new opportunity for young, black actors

On top of being an introduction for the Black Panther’s character within the Marvel franchise, the Black Panther film itself will provide an opportunity for young, Black actors to make their mark in the film industry. Chadwick Boseman (Black Panther), Lupita Nyong'o, and even Michael B Jordan are a few established actors who have been confirmed to be part of the film.

4. He puts Africa into a more positive light

Though the country of Wakanda (where Black Panther hails from) is imaginary, it’s meant to equate an African country in the comic books. This choice in itself is revolutionary, seeing that Americans tend to lump all African countries into a category of “developing, poor, and starving” places with people who are in need of a savior. Granted, Wakanda has its own issues, but the way that Marvel presents the country is much more positive than what one might typically think.


5. He's a rhetorical symbol of anti-racism and international relations

Black Panther is also a symbol of hope for Black communities all over the world. From his first comic book appearance during the Civil Rights Era, the Black Panther has always been considered a fictional character who serves as a form of rhetorical justice for those suffering from bigotry and racism. For instance, in one of his early comic book issues, Black Panther actually fights the KKK, both a figurative and literal push back against the klan in real life. Today, Black Panther serves once again as a symbol of hope or the hundreds of Black and Brown bodies being mistreated in our world. In addition, as the king of Wakanda, Black Panther dabbles in international relations, as some of his comics revolve around the relationship between the West and “developing” countries. Along with fighting against the KKK, the tackling of international relations makes Black Panther unique in his efforts as a leader.

6. It only gets better from here

And finally, it only makes sense that once Black Panther comes into theaters, there will be a demand for more black superheroes to make appearances on the big screen. Who knows? Maybe this will lead to a Luke Cage, Storm, or Nick Fury movies in the future…

Cover Image Credit: Gamespot

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7 Reasons Why Literature Is So Important

"Literature Is One Of The Most Interesting And Significant Expressions Of Humanity." -P. T. Barnum
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Today, there are too many people who believe that literature is simply not important or underestimate its abilities to stand the test of time and give us great knowledge. There is a stigma in society that implies one who is more inclined toward science and math will somehow be more successful in life, and that one who is more passionate toward literature and other art forms will be destined to a life of low-paying jobs and unsatisfying careers. Somewhere along the line, the world has come to think that literature is insignificant. To me, however, literature serves as a gateway to learning of the past and expanding my knowledge and understanding of the world. Here are just a few reasons why literature is important.

1. Expanding horizons

First and foremost, literature opens our eyes and makes us see more than just what the front door shows. It helps us realize the wide world outside, surrounding us. With this, we begin to learn, ask questions, and build our intuitions and instincts. We expand our minds.

2. Building critical thinking skills

Many of us learn what critical thinking is in our language arts classes. When we read, we learn to look between the lines. We are taught to find symbols, make connections, find themes, learn about characters. Reading expands these skills, and we begin to look at a sentence with a larger sense of detail and depth and realize the importance of hidden meanings so that we may come to a conclusion.

3. A leap into the past

History and literature are entwined with each other. History is not just about power struggles, wars, names, and dates. It is about people who are products of their time, with their own lives. Today the world is nothing like it was in the 15th century; people have changed largely. Without literature, we would not know about our past, our families, the people who came before and walked on the same ground as us.

4. Appreciation for other cultures and beliefs

Reading about history, anthropology, or religious studies provides a method of learning about cultures and beliefs other than our own. It allows you to understand and experience these other systems of living and other worlds. We get a view of the inside looking out, a personal view and insight into the minds and reasoning of someone else. We can learn, understand, and appreciate it.

5. Better writing skills

When you open a book, when your eyes read the words and you take in its contents, do you ask yourself: How did this person imagine and write this? Well, many of those authors, poets, or playwrights used literature to expand their writing.

6. Addressing humanity

All literature, whether it be poems, essays, novels, or short stories, helps us address human nature and conditions which affect all people. These may be the need for growth, doubts and fears of success and failure, the need for friends and family, the goodness of compassion and empathy, trust, or the realization of imperfection. We learn that imperfection is not always bad and that normal can be boring. We learn that life must be lived to the fullest. We need literature in order to connect with our own humanity.

Literature is important and necessary. It provides growth, strengthens our minds and gives us the ability to think outside the box.

Cover Image Credit: google.com/images

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5 Quick Tips To Improve Your Focus And Time Management Skills

Here are five easy tips that helped my sense of productivity along the way.

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Lately, I've been pretty disappointed in my time management skills. I've been struggling to not only maintain all of my obligations but also my sense of joy while completing each task. And although I'd love to rain check on my responsibilities, I know that extended mental vacations are not a beneficial solution for long-term purposes. With this in mind, I've recently observed the ways that I manage my time as well as the methods I use to better improve my work ethic.
As a result of my personal inventory, I decided to make a brief list of tricks that I use to better improve my time management skills and focus.

1. Find articles that encourage organization

I've been reading articles about managing obligations and discovering cool methods to better organize my life. A specific blog post that I've found helpful is "Get Your Life Together Tools" by Mariah Dyson. This brief article is extremely easy to read and filled with useful apps to help readers stay focus on their tasks at hand. The link to this gem is below:

https://www.andsoitcurls.com/blog/majorkeys-tools

2. Listen to a podcast that you enjoy


If you're anything like me, you probably work best with background noise. Now, while I love my Netflix account, I've recently discovered that binge-watching my favorite shows is only a distraction when I'm trying to meet a deadline. So, instead of compromising my focus I've recently decided to save my favorite podcasts episodes for when I'm bogged down with work.

3. Approach your 'to-do' list with positive perspective

THIS IS A MAJOR ONE FOR ME! I have a terrible habit of complaining about my workload. And while it's easy to murmur about my obligations the effects of my comments are detrimental. I've been purposely replacing the phrase "I have to" with "I get to," to remind myself that every obligation is a blessing. I'm blessed to have a job and opportunities to fulfill.

4. Color-code your planner to better prioritize your day

I learned this trick while working on my bachelor's degree and honey, please believe me when I say that this tip alone saved my undergraduate experience. I'm a huge advocate for visual representation, and having my planner organized by color is a quick way to check in and manage my priorities throughout a hectic day.

5. Manage your progress

Lately, I've been taking great joy in checking off tasks from my "to-do list." Again, being a fan of visualization, it's rewarding to know that I've completed yet another task. This technique also serves as a healthy dose of encouragement to keep on trekking along, because the reality is if you could buckle down to achieve your goals once before, you can certainly do it again.

If anything, I hope that this list leaves you with healthy options to consider, when trying to tackle a stressful day.

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