Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Black Panther Excitement is not Over the Top.

February 15, 2018 by  
Filed under Ent., News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( February 16, 2018 belongs to Black Panther in theatres. The truth is we have been anxiously awaiting this film since we saw Black Panther’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War. Black Panther’s strong African influence, and majority black cast has Black America excited in a way that has been long awaited. Granted, one doesn’t need a movie to be empowered and proud to be black. However, let’s be real we deserve our superheroes on the silver screen. When asked is the Black Panther craze over the top I ten to want to ask is the craze of any other superhero over the top. The bottom line is the excitement is not ill placed, nor it is too much. The character is embodies something we should celebrate and it’s okay to be excited.

It’s understandable that we will have members of our community that remind us that Black Panther was created by Marvel so never forget there are white hands involved. Though we appreciate the reminder, unfortunately, that is the case for many things regarding the arts. However, we need to realize when to mount an argument, and when it’s okay to enjoy a positive image.

When we see black people on the silver screen we rarely play a character that is engulfed in black culture and positive. Regardless of the studio we always find ourselves combating oppression. Many in our community have voiced their disdain with the slave narrative movies because they are tired of seeing that depiction. So now we are seeing black men and women in a positive light that is from a position of power, and control, verses the constant opposite. That’s a reason to be excited.

Furthermore, we must acknowledge that the same question is not posed to white people. I remember the craze that took place when the 1989 Batman premiered. Fans were excited to the point some came to the movies dressed like Batman. It was understood that they were just enjoying the climate of a film they had anticipated. However, some wonder if some of us are going to far wanting to adorn ourselves in the regalia that represents the movie. The bottom line is Black Panther/T’Challa is the KING of a country that has never been invaded. He is royalty and blackness personified so why shouldn’t we dress in the likeness of the movie we have anticipated. Basically there is no need for a double standard…we are going to enjoy the moment, and dress for the event.

We have argued that depictions of us as slaves, gang members and drug dealers have had a negative impact on our community. Representation in the arts is very important and film has had a profound affect on us. In like thought this film will have a powerful effect on our community, and our children. They aren’t just seeing positivity they are seeing royalty, and it is not depicted in a Eurocentric fashion.

Yes, it takes more than a movie to create empowerment, but the arts are a part of that movement. The excitement over Black Panther is real. In a time when we are constantly dealing with racism, negativity, and even feel hunted it is much needed to be reminded that we can be regal.

Staff Writer; Christian Starr

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