So I finally got a chance to see Black Panther this past weekend. Yes, I know I’m late thank you very much. Your girl has been sick for a month and I am now only starting to feel better.
Anyhow, over the weekend information was released that Black Panther had grossed $562 million at the box office domestically in just 24 days! To put that in perspective, it has surpassed The Dark Knight which made $534 million in 2008 and now ranks the second highest growing coming book superhero movie behind The Avengers which made $623 million. Even on the fourth weekend of the movies release, the movie made $41.1 million (1). I’m not even a Marvel/DC fan (although I have seen all the movies mentioned. Thanks hubby!) and these numbers are amazing! So let’s get this review.
Shuri is my girl and should be young girls inspiration too
I fell in love with her immediately as Shuri was a black girl in the technology field, like me. I loved her wit and how she was the backbone of the country’s technology and innovation. I also loved how they made her the cool chic opposed to a poindexter who is painfully awkward as most folks in technology are depicted in the films (and in real life). When I went to college for Computer information Systems I didn’t come across any other black men/women in my classes and I do believe that had to do with stereotypes. There are studies that show that folks perceive that computer science is something for older white men and this is prevalent in my community as we did not grow up around our older generations in these fields (2). Shoot, look at Silicon Valley (3). I am hoping that Shuri will encourage young girls and boys (especially black) as we are falling behind in these areas which is detrimental as technology is a pivotal field in the 21st century job market.
I never relate with the villain, until now.
As soon as I saw Michael B. Jordan on the screen I thought his first scene was C-O-R-N-Y. But when he turned on Klaue I quickly was like “Harpo, who dis” and couldn’t wait to see what was next. My husband and his friends thought Killmonger didn’t get enough screen time but I disagreed. He felt very familiar to me as a person living the black experience everyday in the U.S. Due to the history of what black people have endured I related to the aggression displayed. Our ancestors were brought from a continent to do free labor in a country unbeknownst to them and were tortured mentally and spiritually. Then looking at how things are today it’s heartbreaking and frustrating as to why and how our strength and resilience hasn’t gotten us further than it has. Obviously, systemic racism had something to do with that but then you also begin to start questioning the leaders before us. Kilmonger was the Malcolm X compared to a Martin Luther King. Tupac next to a Biggie. Or how about a Trump to an Obama? Killmonger represented the fight in becoming something that you hate.
I think he found out pretty quickly like his predecessors who may have had the right intentions early on that when you you are so thirsty for power it becomes your motivation for everything and your decision making becomes piss poor. If they had gone to war and other nations confiscated some of those weapons they would have been replicated and used to power enemies to create their own armies (Hmm…think how a four lettered terrorist group formed in Iraq due a U.S. invasion in 2003).
Today, in an effort to “find ourselves” we take genealogy tests to find out where we come from only to find out we are from a distant land that we are no longer connected to in any way, shape or form. Then the land that we turned into one of the strongest nations diminishes and ridicules the culture that makes us who we are (i.e. dialect, food, music and etc). After a while it is hard to be a pacifist to all the nonsense we see and have dealt with on a constant basis.
Political (and maybe pop) references at its finest
Ok, this may be a stretch but I am convinced Micheal B. Jordan studied Tupac for this role as I found the references to him ironic (and I am not one of those conspirators that believes he is still alive). Oakland was city where Tupac moved to at 17 years old and participated in poetry workshops where he met his manager that eventually led to him being matched with Digital Underground. Tupac’s mother was a member of the black panther political party which was coincidentally founded in Oakland, CA in which Tupac was exposed to as a young child. If you watched the Tupac biopic “All Eyez on Me” (or any documentary on him the last 20 years years) he was angry of the injustices he witnessed as a child and young man and ultimately became the antithesis of what he was raised to become, a leader.
I also felt the movie was a critique of today’s politics with the following references:
- “Only fools build walls” says T-Challa in a speech he gave to the UN in the first scene which was a direct reference to a man who ran a campaign on building a wall between Mexico and the U.S. and won.
- When Everett Ross asks T-Challa “Does she speak English?” Okoye responds”only when I want to” which I found hilarious. I find folks that want to “build a wall” want to do so out of fear and then want to make demands that if you are “in their country” then they need to speak so they understand, as if they are in power.
- When Okoye told Nakia “then you server your country” when she expected her to overthrow the throne when T-Challa was believed to be dead from the after his challenge with Killmonger. Let’s think of Omarosa. If she was loyal to her country first no matter WHO was sitting as President then how can we be mad at her. She would have stood by her principal to help the people first and put her feelings aside as to how she felt about who was reporting to yet most don’t see it this way.
- “Guns..so primitive” Well, all I am going to say on this one is thousands of students walked out of their schools on March 14th in nationwide gun violence protest (4).
- When Okoye wore a wig as disguise and said she felt ridiculous in it. Yet, black women (with African roots) go to great lengths to change the texture of our hair with chemicals or by wearing wigs and weaves and spend over $7 billion on them (5) and have created a $500 haircare industry (6)
- When someone is seek power of a nation, what is their motivation to become “King or Queen?” Is it for their ego or for the citizens of that nation. And that’s all I will say on that one. lol
Wakanda Forever. Forever? Forever Ever. Forever Ever?
A few days prior I had saw a clip of Saundra Bullock explaining when she met the cast of the movie at the Oscars that she cried as she was so thankful to the entire cast as her son was able to witness a movie of superheroes that looked like him. While watching the movie I must say I think I had an out of body experience as I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing and got a little teary eyed. This is another amazing milestone that happened during my adulthood and I think it’s great for other cultures and ethniticies to see us on the big screen in a positive way. An all black cast of superheroes has shattered the box office and inspired so many little girls and little boys. I hope it means there are more possibilities now. We don’t only have to see ourselves in movies being slaves or thugs. This movie was very well written and I am hoping for great things in the future for everyone that was apart of this film and I look forward to seeing what Marvel does with this franchise going forward. The possibilities are hopefully endless.
What were your favorites scenes or characters of the movie? Were you in any way moved by the movie? What stood out for you?
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