Black Panther’s release and success is important to students of color at Temple
“Not only are African Americans represented, but so are women”
Black Panther has been officially released to the entire public today, and students around Temple’s campus have expressed their excitement for the groundbreaking film.
“I’m very excited for the movie,” said Jasmine Green, a freshman biology major, "I think it will show other people who are like us, specifically African-Americans that we can go far in life with movie roles since this movie is a great twist to the Marvel Universe.”
“I’m just excited to see a cast so inclusive and diverse,” Kaya Jones, a sophomore journalism and political science major. “Not only are African Americans represented, but so are women.”
Black Panther is about an African nation called Wakanda, which is known to be technologically advanced. T’Challa, now serving as the leader of the country, finds himself becoming the hero known as Black Panther, teaming up with fellow Wakandan natives, an all women special force named Dora Milaje, and the CIA to prevent the country from taking part in a world war.
It is the first Marvel film to have a predominantly Black cast, depicting African-Americans as being heroes rather than the generic stereotyped parts commonly given to them to portray. The film also pays homage to women of color for having a special force made up entirely of women, and it is also the first Marvel film in a decade to be directed by a Black filmmaker.
With the movie breaking so many norms in the film industry, other students felt the need to express the overall significance of the movie.
“I’m not personally big on superhero movies, but I think Black Panther is important for kids of color to finally see other people of color depicted as heroes in the media, so that they can have someone to look up to” said Nadiri Ali, a freshman criminal justice major.
“There’s not a lot of representation for people of color,” said Sierra Drummond, a freshman biology major. “This movie is about strong women and basically people of color from Africa just doing their thing.”
Black Panther had been in talks to go to the big screen since 1992, and finally received the green light in 2014. The film had been delayed a few times due to change in line up from cast and crew but as well know now, it's released and shattering records.
According to a ScreenRant article written by Margaret Maurer, she elaborates how Hollywood has a tendency of playing it safe.
“Producers ultimately want to make money, and they would rather fund projects that they know (or honestly, believe) will make money, rather than projects that are uncertain,” said Maurer. “This affects representation and diversity because playing it safe applies not only to the stories of films but the protagonists and actors who play them.”
Black Panther brings a lot of awareness to the African American community and could not have been released at a better time, especially after the recent Oscar Awards that was dominated particularly by white men. It has also brought attention to other groups of minorities, hopefully creating a domino effect for more representation in the film industry.
“The film has affected a large variety of different communities,” said Drummond. “I know there are a lot of people who identify as Hispanic, Asian, and even White who are excited to see the movie.”
The film has already received critical acclaim, achieving a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, grossing 47 million worldwide before its opening weekend in the United States, and being unofficially dubbed at the best Marvel Cinematic Universe film by critics worldwide.