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  • Writer's pictureChristie

#BlackJoy and Marvel's Black Panther

After weeks of filling my brain with movies, documentaries, and podcasts on where policies supporting systemic racism originated, last week I opted to re-watch a movies and shows highlighting our indisputable brilliance. Jordan Peele's "Us" (v scary and probably won't re-watch at night, but excellent symbolism displayed nonetheless). "The Proud Family" (Can you believe there was only 2 seasons? I feel like it was on for my whole childhood). "The Lion King" (OG Disney for nostalgia. New live action Disney with Childish Gambino and 'Yonce for 'Brown Skin Girl'. #Duh)

"Black Panther".

I can't say enough about the #BlackJoy this film makes me feel even re-watching many times 2 years following seeing it in theaters. I found an old post recalling my feelings fresh from having just seen it for the first time opening weekend.

"Black Panther is one of the best Marvel films that I have seen. I grew up watching superheroes. I dragged my mom to take me to see every Spiderman movie, never missed an episode of Batman or the Mighty Morphing Power Rangers on Saturday mornings, and I thought the X-Men were literally the coolest. I was so drawn to that concept of having a superpower. That concept of having an advantage or an ability that someone else doesn’t and sharing the wealth. The call to action. It is not enough to have the resources or the privilege; you’ve gotta do something with it. That’s probably why I’m so drawn to healthcare. Helping people, seeing the bigger picture, trying to make a difference.

When I was purchasing my ticket, there was a boy in front of me probably around the age of 6, that turned to his dad pointed at the poster for Black Panther and said “I’m gonna be that one”. Wow. What a statement. I had chills. To get to see someone who looks like you in a positive lead role. Not the sidekick, not the servant. The hero. This movie is important. This movie is representation. List of what I loved about Black Panther in no particular order and no spoilers.

  1. The fact that traditional roles of a superhero film (Example: the techy nerd with the gadgets, phenomenal warrior/fighter, etc.) had strong female characters.

  2. The badass-ary of every single female cast member to hold their own in the traditional superhero battle.

  3. The men weren’t threatened by the potential of females. It was celebrated. No real question of compromising roles because potential should be celebrated on both spectrums.

  4. The CGI of the landscape and vehicles. The costumes should win an Oscar.

  5. While we’re on the topic of Oscars, can we get Angela Bassett one too ASAP.

  6. The different representation of hair styles (buzzcut to locs to natural curls to boxbraids) because their black is beautiful no matter how you wear it.

  7. Confirmation that Sterling K. Brown is good at everything.

  8. Highlighting the beauty of Africa. Not over doing the accents. Wealth of the culture that was never colonized.

  9. The mention of Nigeria.

  10. Kdot producing the soundtrack for the film.

  11. Solid traditional Stan Lee cameo.

  12. The relevance of the final scene and how it applies to today’s world. (No not the scene before the credits. I’m talking the FINAL scene that every Marvel film shows after the credits). There are more things that connect us than divide us.

  13. Spoiler: there was a “What are those?!” reference. I appreciated it. Alright, I think that’s it for now. Go see Black Panther it displays multiple images of what beauty and strength mean. Carry on."

Black Panther went on to be nominated for 6 Academy Awards (among others) winning in the following:

  1. Best Original Music Score - Ludwig Goransson

  2. Best Costume Design - Ruth E. Carter (Please see item#4 above. I promise to only use my powers for good.)

  3. Best Production Design - Hannah Beachler & Jay Hart

I feel the same appreciation for this film today. It came at the perfect time in my life 2 years ago and I am glad to have it for its comfort and empowerment to keep going today.

We have come a long a way to go, but don't forget how far we've come.

"In times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers." - T'challa

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