By Ruthchamar Jolibois
Black Panther…WOW! That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about that spectacular movie. The visuals, the sound, the plot, the costume and makeup just left me all types of shook! The surplus of melanin that oozed from the characters’ skin took my breath away! This was Black Excellence at its finest!
Apart from the breathtaking beauty that was displayed, this movie took representation to another level. The type of representation that is often ignored in Hollywood when it comes to African-Americans.
Ironically, yesterday was International Women’s Day, and this movie definitely had powerful women in it. Okoye (Danai Gurira), Nikia (Lupita Nyong’o), and Shuri (Letitia Wright) all powerful on their own. Okoye was the leader of T’Challa’s army (that were full of women). Can you imagine a woman operating an entire army? An African-American woman at that? Put yourself in a little girl’s shoes and seeing that sort of representation for the first time! The excitement that a child must have felt. The opportunity to see a woman who might resemble her or her mother or even a friend being so powerful and dominating, this is why Black Panther mattered so much. It provided African-American children the opportunity to see people that shared the same skin color as them are able to be superheroes. That they can be scientists, warriors, kings, and that they can be more than thugs and/or drug dealers.
Black Panther drew in all ages, however since children are so impressionable, this was the right movie for them. I recently saw a video on social media of two little African-American boys who were arguing over who was going to be T’Challa or Killmonger, and it warmed my heart. Finally, these children had superheroes who they could imitate so easily. It was beautiful to see such a thing.
I can not wait for the upcoming Halloween Season. I am extremely excited to see African-American children as Shuri, Killmonger, Nikia, and etc. Black children finally being able to dress in African inspired clothing then the common Batman or Wonder Woman costume from Party City. This was long overdue and it well deserved for this year’s Black History Month.