Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther (2018) might be one of the best, if not the greatest superhero films of all time.
The Marvel blockbuster managed to earn over a whopping billion dollars in the box office worldwide, including 242 million upon opening weekend. Now it’s no secret that this movie has had its impact. Obviously it’s had a huge affect on ticket sales, as well as superhero lovers, but I believe that the film has had its biggest impact on the Black community.
The first way Black Panther had a huge impact on the Black community was by showing the different ways those members within the Black community attempt to find solutions to heal the community. In the movie, Wakanda is filled with numerous resources that are used to protect the citizens of Wakanda that can also help other groups of people outside of the Wakandan community. Protagonist, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) feels that their most powerful metal Vibranium -- used in clothing, technology, and health -- should be used to help out other foreign countries in need, while Okoye (Danai Gurira) feels that the resource should be kept only for the Wakandan citizens. On the other hand, antagonist Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) feels that Vibranium should specifically be used to assist oppressed Black people all over the world, and more specifically those in neglected communities. The three characters all have valid reasons for their specific use of Wakanda’s resources, which makes the storyline relatable to reality. As Black people, most of us want the best for our community, however we have different methods of finding a solution. This had an impact on the Black community because it offered different perspectives on how to improve the state of our community.
In addition to offering a range of perspectives on an issue, Black Panther also impacted the Black community by embracing the beauty of African culture. Throughout the film, audiences were introduced to traditional African culture through music, dance, fashion, art, and language. Often times, the media portrays Africa in a negative light with stories only mentioning violence and poverty. However, Black Panther shows people the luxurious, intelligent, and glorious side of Africa. The scenery of Wakanda had an impact on the Black community by influencing African Americans to dress up in traditional African attire. In fact, during the premiere week, there were people wearing dashikis and face paint just like the characters in the film.
The premiere week, and success of ticket sales on opening weekend brings me to my point, in which is Black Panther encouraged Black people to support each other financially. Black Panther, which features a predominantly Black cast as well a Black director, became one of the most engrossed films of its time because of the way Black people supported the film. There were people watching the movie over three times, as well as people buying large amounts of tickets just help the film. This shows that when the Black community wants to see success, they will do anything to make sure it happens, and the support for the film is a prime example of how as a community we should strive to support Black owned businesses as much as possible.
To conclude, Black Panther is much more than a great film, rather it is a symbol that has thus motivated to the Black community to offer solutions to problems, embrace our roots, and even support our own.