I’m sure many of you have heard the news by now about ”Black Panther,” an innovative superhero fantasy with nearly an all-black cast. Reviews have been great! I first saw the lead actor Chadwick Boseman playing in the James Brown movie. Though I only saw part of it, he did well.
This is what I’ve read from media sources: Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) becomes the ruler of Wakanda, a powerful African kingdom after his father’s death. He possesses vibranium, a power source that also cures illnesses and wounds and makes costumes bullet-proof when integrated with fabric. A white South African named Ulysses Klaue steals an old tool made of vibranium. He offers to sell it to a CIA name Ross. Klaue becomes T’Challa ally.
T’Challa wants to keep the vibranium a secret from the world, but a ruthless CIA contractor has other ideas. The director Ryan Coogler is also black. His first feature film Fruitvale Station, won the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
T’Challa receives great support from his regal mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett), smart younger sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) and tough security warriors Okoye (Danai Gurira) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o). You may remember Lupita in 12 Years a Slave in 2013 for which she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Play.
There have been many black female superheroes. Vixen (1981), Monica Rambeau in Captain Marvel!/Spectrum (1982) to name a few. The first black male superhero may have been in the 60s.
Also, Nafessa Williams plays TV’s first black lesbian superhero in The CW’s Black Lightning. Our world is much more open today, but it is still filled with bigots. People continue to say unpleasant things about women and those in the LGBTQ community. Nevertheless, our world will get better in time.
The Walt Disney Pictures release starts Friday February 16th for Black Panther. Don’t miss it!