Black Panther: More than a Movie by AmyWritten by Amy Simmons
Black Panther is a marvellous movie for so many reasons.
Black Panther raked in a pretty decent $192m in its opening weekend in the States along, beating Deadpool as Marvel’s most successful February release, but its impact around the world is worth far more than that. Black Panther is empowering people of colour of all ages and genders around the globe, as well as highlighting the damage caused by racism and racial inequality.
Black Panther is the action packed intersectional feminist movie of my dreams. All five of the main protagonists are people of colour, with four of them being women. Some of these women are portrayed in roles that women in the media aren’t often portrayed in, such as the military and scientific industries. The Wakandan royal guard, the best trained warriors in the country, are all women of colour! Black Panther shows women of colour as their own protectors – an empowering image for all women, especially women of colour.
Having visited South Africa for two weeks, and working with underprivileged children from some of Cape Town’s poorest areas, I cannot overstate the value of an African superhero. He may be from royalty, living in a country that seems to have very little poverty, with magical powers, but an 8 year old boy won’t look at those differences.
He’ll look for similarities and there are so many with T’Challa. A hero who looks like him, sounds like him, has the same culture as him and is from a place like him. Throughout the movie, T’Challa and his advisors speak Xhosa, which is a language native to the north of South Africa.
It’s not just about the individual representation. Stories about African nations as a whole don’t tend to be the happiest stories. It’s rare to see a film set in modern Africa that gives such a positive impression of the country it’s set in, the way that Black Panther has romanticised Wakanda and its African culture.
Every single character has been well developed to be multidimensional, especially Erik Killmonger, the main antagonist. Erik is an African American, with royal Wakandan heritage. He challenges T’Challa to the throne, to spread Wakandan weapons to black people around the world, and free them from racial oppression.
This is a reality in thousands of predominantly black neighbourhoods around the world. The main evil in Black Panther is caused by division, racial tension and social or economic inequality between people of different races. That is arguably the most important message set forth by Black Panther.
You should support Black Panther because it preaches equality in every sense. It teaches young women of colour how to roar for themselves, and young men of colour that they are heroes and kings. Also, the soundtrack is killer.
Amy Simmons is a YOYP2018 ambassador and student from central Scotland. When she’s not studying and fighting for equality, she loves cycling, going to the cinema and French culture, and can often be found reading (usually Harry Potter). She has hopes of becoming a doctor and changing the world, even just a little bit.