Black Panther guys. Black Panther! I FINALLY watched it just over two weeks ago and I am still feeling ALL the feelings! ALL.OF.THEM! Disclaimer: This post is going to be a bit long because I have sooo much to say! There are also spoilers littered all over this post so if you haven’t watched the movie yet (if not, why not huh? WHY?), you may want to hold off reading until you have. You have been warned!
If you are not black, then I am sure you are now at the point where you are rolling your eyes because it is most probably the millionth time you hearing a black person say they love this movie because of representation. Allow us please. Many non back people will not truly understand just how immensely important Black Panther is in terms of representation for black children, for black people as a whole. This is something we so desperately needed. To see almost the entire cast being black. The hero being black. No white saviours as is usually the case. Most of the movie being played out on the “African continent”. Mind blowing. People who are always represented literally everywhere will not understand why we are losing our collective minds over this movie. For a black child to see someone who looks like them being the hero, saving the day. It’s not just a movie. These things make an impact on children and adults alike. What I love about Black Panther is that you can’t really classify it as a “black movie”. It’s unlike your Tyler Perry sort of thing. It’s just a great superhero movie which just happens to have mainly black people in it. That makes it appealing not just to the black community worldwide, but to everyone else as evidenced by how phenomenally well it is doing.
I find the ties to real African people and languages just phenomenal. This wasn’t just a super hero movie with black people in it. It was carefully thought out and researched and pays homage to the African continent and its people. Ryan Coogler, you sir, are doing the Lord’s work. Check out this very interesting article on Quartz Africa for more detail on the African peoples represented in this movie.
The Wakadan women are the definition of badass. General Okoye, Nakia, Shuri, the Queen mother. They did not come to play! What I absolutely love is that these Wakandan women are out there, doing their thing and the men don’t seem to see anything wrong with that. Their masculinity is not fragile and they obviously have better things to do in life than trying to dish out patriarchy left right and centre. In my opinion, Wakanda is as powerful as it is because both genders work with and respect each other so well. I mean, Danai murdered that role (shout out to all current and ex Dominican Convent Harare girls!). I love the scene where W’Kabi was trying to appeal to her emotional side and asked her if she would kill him, her lover.
She basically said yes bitch, for Wakanda I’ll slay you right here and right now. I had to control myself in the movie theatre because I wanted to shout “Yaaaaass bitch, yaaassss!!” Then there’s young Shuri. Highly intelligent, funny young scientist that makes Tony Stark look like a 7th grade science student.
I also love love the fact that the women in this movie do not have, those that have any, straightened hair or weaves or anything on their heads that is usually associated with a European standard of beauty. I watched this interview Lupita gave where she explains that Wakanda was never colonised and so their perception of what is beautiful was never polluted. They were never taught to hate themselves and aspire to look like something else. Now before all you weave wearing, relaxer loving people come for me, don’t. I’m not saying wearing a weave means you hate yourself. Hell, I have one or two Peruvian wigs that I love and I will be adding to my collection soon. I’m just saying though, nothing wrong with loving and embracing our kinky, coily, curly hair. But you already know that.
Besides the fact that most of Black Panther’s cast is black, they are literally all dark skinned. Again, in my opinion, this is something very very important. Colourism is a cancer in the black community. History suggests that lighter skinned black people are usually given more prominence in Hollywood than the darker skinned blacks. At this point let me quickly say if you are part of #TeamOffendedLightSkinnedPeople then please, keep it moving. You know very well why many people are celebrating an all black, dark skinned cast. I don’t even have to and will not explain why because you know why. Don’t tell me about black people coming in all shades blah blah blah because I know what you mean. You also know what I mean.
The men y’all. These men in this movie. These delicious chocolate kings. These black men that take care of business. These fine melanin specimens that ooze masculinity. These fit as f*** black men I personally would not be able to keep my hands off. T’Challa, Killmonger, W’Kabi and my boo M’baku. Perfect casting. (Sidenote, I have a friend who REALLY looks like W’Kabi. Richard, if you’re reading this, we need to make money off your superstar looks my friend. I’m here should you need an agent! Lol)
There are only two things that had me side-eyeing the movie but they’re not really major things. First thing was those accents. At first I was rolling my eyes because I couldn’t figure out what accent exactly they were trying to go for. They all sounded different. Then I watch this YouTube clip where I can’t remember if it was Ryan or Chadwick who was explaining that it was actually purposefully done that they have different accents to represent the different parts of Africa. I calmed down after that because that made sense to me. Forest Whitaker’s accent though was just atrocious. I don’t know what he trying to do but it did.not.work lol. The other thing is the fact that Martin Freeman is cast as Agent Ross. Now, I’m also a huge fan of The Hobbit series and I just can’t un-see him as Bilbo Baggins!
I could go into soooo much more about my favourite scenes and lines and everything about Black Panther but I’d most probably end up writing a whole book and I know most of you don’t have time to be reading all that. So let me stop here for now. I’m definitely looking forward to Avengers: Infinity War as I see the Wakandans will be featuring quite a bit in there.
Now, do tell. What did you think of Black Panther? What did you like or what didn’t you like about it? Spill all the tea in the comments section below!