by Gray Graham
Never could I have ever imagined a world where there is a major Hollywood movie featuring none other than Black Panther. It seems like it was just yesterday that I remember people calling Black Panther, Batman, every time they saw him. Those days are over and boy are they over.
By all accounts across the entertainment world Black Panther is the best superhero movie ever. I have seen fan after fan say it was better than they could have imagined. The people who have no idea who Black Panther is still like the movie and think it is the best. Again something I could never have imagined.
Marvel has always held a special place for Black Panther. He has long been one of the leaders of the Avengers and the world itself. He is the king that everyone acknowledges wherever he goes. Doesn’t matter if it is Iron Man, Thor, Mr Fantastic, or even Dr. Doom, they all know T’Challa to be a king.
Unfortunately in the real world, the king has quite a few enemies it would seem; many of which are just like his comic book ones. Some are people that can not accept an African king that may be the most powerful man in his comic book world. Some that can’t accept that an African superhero movie might do better than all-American franchises like Superman, Batman, and Spider-man.
It is a little unsettling a few people can not accept that you can have a movie be successful that does not feature a mostly white cast. Some people are just now realizing that everyone Black is not American and there are many different ethnic groups of Africans across the world just like there are for Europeans and Asians (not that they would think there are multiple ethnic groups of Asian people in the world).
Sadly on the other hand you have people upset that Black Panther was created by someone white and that the movie was made by Disney. Apparently there are no black stockholders of Disney nor does Disney have any black employees. It is just another ploy by the man to get black people’s money.
The saddest part to me that there are many Black people that were cheering for the movie’s villain because they believe he was right and Black panther was wrong.
And that is the catch 22 when it comes to being an African American artist today. In a country and a society so fractured by hate and revenge, it is hard to just make a good story. No matter what you do it is going to be dissected for it’s blackness or lack thereof.
Talk about African culture and heritage and you are going to be labeled a black militant or terrorist trying to kill white people. Talk about African heritage and helping the world become a peaceful world for all people and you will get labeled an uncle tom and a coon.
While there is a double standard to entertainment in America it is good to see Black Panther succeed when many thought it would fail. Instead it is inspiring generations of African descendants around the world that they too can be a great superhero and a king.
There are few things as good as inspiration and it nice to see such an inspiring story told both on and off the screen. I only hope this is the start of something and not just a one time thing. Black Panther still lacks the promotion that it contemporaries received, so while it is a great start there is still a lot of work to be done.
Until then it is #Wakandaforever