Black Panther is the newest cinematic feature of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director Ryan Coogler – Creed (2015), Fruitvale Station (2013) – is known for creating stunning visuals and emotional stories able to captivate audiences, and Black Panther is no exception. This new addition to the MCU is alluring, creative, and makes me proud of my heritage and who I am.
The hidden city of Wakanda is truly something you have never seen before. Advanced technology juxtaposed with age-old African traditions is a new take for Hollywood on a sci-fi realm; a world untouched by colonizers. The film is stunning, using the bright colors of different tribes such as the Zulu, Lesotho, Ndebele, and many others to create a movie was unlike any other Marvel film. I applaud Coogler, the costume department, writers, and everyone involved for their dedication because you can see the love that was put into this picture.
While this is clearly not the first Black movie or superhero movie with a Black cast, this film made me more proud to be Black. Growing up, I had Black figures to look up to. Blade, Static Shock, Storm, and plenty of others were there for little Black girls and boys to admire. Yet seeing an entire cast of Black actors, proud of who they are and what they stand for, is truly something that fills my heart with love and fulfillment. Seeing my people onscreen, wearing African-themed garments, speaking in Xhosa (a native language of South Africa) wearing their natural hair infused with Afropunk styles, made my heart swell. The fact that so many people around the world have seen this film and various aspects of our culture is truly amazing. I hope to see more films showcasing different nationalities and people in the future.
If you haven’t seen Black Panther, go see it now: there's no excuse. You will laugh, shout, and be in awe at how marvelous and beautiful it is. Make sure to stay after the film because there are two end scene credits (and believe me, you will not want to miss them). This film tops my list of favorite films in the MCU, and I am excited to see T’Challa and the Wakandans in the future. Wakanda may be a fictional city, but it will always be in my heart forever.