North Texas Daily

‘Black Panther:’ Wakanda, forever

‘Black Panther:’ Wakanda, forever

‘Black Panther:’ Wakanda, forever
February 18
09:38 2018

*Spoilers ahead*

“After the death of his father, T’Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy suddenly reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king, and as Black Panther, gets tested when he’s drawn into a conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk.”

It’s been a long time coming, and it’s still probably unknown the impact of the Marvel intro with Black Panther’s character.

You don’t have to be a die-hard Marvel fan to follow the story.

The world of Wakanda was explained with such detail that you could walk out of the theater with drafted layouts for the next Disney attraction. This type of detail in movies displaying new worlds hasn’t been executed perfectly since “Avatar.”

This Afro-futuristic world breathes new life into the concept of the future for black people. African-Americans, in particular, psychologically have been stagnant in society’s representation of them. The only time that’s given to them is time in the past.

When you see an all black cast at this level, they’re usually highlighting our past with our nation’s history for film. “Selma” and “Hidden Figures” are examples that, although they shed new light on truths hidden from us, it still psychologically places black excellence in the past only.

Having Wakanda as a futuristic society where black people thrive shifts the subconscious of the young black mind to look forward to the future. That’s powerful.

“Black Panther” plays on the mediocrity of white power while addressing the issues stemming from within black struggles.

You notice the initial villain, a white man, isn’t even the real villain. Michael B. Jordan plays Killmonger, and the battle between Killmonger and Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) says a lot.

Jordan gives us a dynamic performance with his character’s back story that comes full circle in the film. You can’t help but sympathize with his plight as an African-American revolutionist.

His motive as the villain stems from hurt and pain and he encompasses the embodiment of a famous James Baldwin speech: “To be a negro in this country means to be in a constant state of rage.”

Jordan’s character, perhaps, gives us a glimpse into the the outcome of that constant rage — the master created a monster.

“Black Panther” also taught me that black women are loyalists. Having women warriors willing to stand by what’s right while their male counterparts bend weakly shows an appreciation in the strength of black women.

“Black Panther” doesn’t directly place gender roles in this film, though, which is beautiful to watch black love and black interactions between the men and women. Even with T’Challa’s genius kid sister Princess Shuri (Letitia Wright), their relationship is so pure and trusting.

This utopian society is a dream. The visuals of the cultured bustling city, down to the beauty of the sunsets takes you to a paradise where only those a part of the culture exists.

“Black Panther” represents the protection of that utopia — a utopia that was beaten and striped away, but has never left the hearts of those who are the chosen people.

Only those connected to the culture can truly be let in. No matter if we open the doors to outsiders, if they come barging in or if they try to recreate our culture, we hold the keys to our own Wakanda. Wakanda, forever.

Featured Image: Courtesy Bryan K Ward

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Jade Jackson

Jade Jackson

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