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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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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Must-See Movies For Your Summer

Check out these movies in theaters soon!

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I can't wait till these movies come out. Going to the movies during summer is a great escape from the heat, giving you a few hours in the air conditioning while enjoying a big tub of popcorn.

Here are a few movies to check out this summer when you want to cool down for a little while:

1. "The Lion King"

2. "Aladdin"

3. "The Hustle"

4. "Men in Black: International"

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