‘Black Panther’ brings black representation

Movie depicts country without colonialization

Natalie Glick, Deputy Editor

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While “Black Panther” has broken records in ticket sales, it’s also breaking barriers. The movie created equal representation in the media.

Now African-Americans, including U-High students, can see themselves as heros.

“Black Panther,” which tells the story of the king of an isolated, metal-rich African nation who gains superpowers through natural resources, is most widely known for being the first comic book movie to have a predominately African-American cast.

“I thought it was a really beautiful movie with a really important message,” sophomore Sophie Hood, who saw it twice, said. “I loved the imagery and the complexity of the characters. I thought it was really bold to portray a villain who had somewhat of a good purpose. I was a huge fan of the movie.”

Having conflicts between African-Americans and Africans played a large role in why the movie has had such significant success. This storyline hadn’t been seen in the modern media yet.

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STANDING STRONG. Two of the strong female characters stand together before a fight scene. People have been drawn to “Black Panther” for its non-traditional portrayal of both African-Americans and women.

 

“I really enjoyed the movie! Everything was so well done from the acting to the scenery to the costumes and the music,” junior Alexis Tyndall said. “I don’t usually enjoy superhero movies or action movies but the plot besides the fighting was really interesting. The whole idea of the conflict between African-Americans and Africans really drove the movie in a way that I think a lot of other action movies don’t have.”

One of the most important aspects of the movie, for many, is the representation. Seeing powerful African-Americans on the movie screen means a lot to people.

“It was the first time I felt represented in the world of superheroes,” junior Robert Coats said. “There have been other black superhero movies, but this is the first one that took itself seriously. It was an allegory of the disconnect that Africans and African-Americans have and the right way to go about healing the wound left by slavery and colonization. It also was cool to imagine what Africa could look like without European colonization.”

Having a strong African-American female lead meant a lot to Alexis. She said movies don’t often have intelligent and strong African-American lead characters.

“This is especially true for all the black women in the film who were cast as warriors or scientists,” Alexis said. “I think it’s really hard for black people to have representation that is true to their heritage and ancestry, but ‘Black Panther’ did a really great job at giving us that representation.”