It has been one week since The Black Panther opening weekend.
We were there to show our support the very first weekend it came out. We couldn’t have been prepared for such a life changing movie. Actually it’s not “just a movie”, it’s a movement.
Note: If you don’t like spoilers, you may not want to read any further.
First of all…..WAKANDA FOREVER!
We completely understand that Wakanda is a fictional place somewhere in a fictional land, but for many many black people around the world, it’s a symbol. No, not a symbol like a peace sign, but a symbol of acknowledgment and representation.
I remember first hearing about The Black Panther movie a few weeks ago. Yes, I said a few weeks ago. I remember thinking about what this meant for young black children around the world. Although it is fictional, the Black Panther movie was able to portray a narrative not centered on superheroes, but on family and the flawed heroes they can be.
Representation is so important for children.
Actually representation is important for everyone, but especially children. As I mentioned, I couldn’t get the children out of my mind! I keep thinking “oh my gosh! young black children now have a superhero that they can look up to, that they can look at and say “hey, I kind of look like him” “I look like him and he’s cool.” How cool is that?
I emphasize the children because I was once a young black child.
Words cannot express how much I needed this movie when I was a little girl. I loved superheroes, I still do. Before The Black Panther movie, none of those superheroes looked like me, or even remotely represented me.
I have 5 young nieces and nephews who happen to be between the ages of 4 and 13. When it comes to things like superheroes, kid’s tv shows, and movies, I get a bit sad because of how little representation there is for them. My young nieces often look at dolls and choose the doll with light hair and blue eyes because she’s “prettier.” I always ask them why they think that and you know what? They can’t tell me why because they’re 4 and 5 years old. Do they even know why they think that? That’s the sad part.
When you walk down the isles of a store and you see 50 dolls that don’t look anything like you, you’re probably going to subconsciously question yourself. Even at the age of 4. Honestly, when you look at a child and you can visibily see how they’re negatively questioning themselves before they can even read…are there words to describe that feeling?
I say it again, representation is important for children!
Those of you reading these words are probably adults or closer to adults than children. If you’re black, you may be familiar with the lack of representation in mainstream media and how that may have influenced a negative self-image at one point or another. You may be familiar with questioning yourself as a child instead of questioning why there are 50 dolls that don’t look anything like you. I’ve honestly been there. We’re adults now, we survived. But I want better for the children that grow up after us. I want my nieces and nephews to feel cool, inspired, and uplifted after consuming enetertainment that represents them. Truthfully, I wish this for everyone’s children.
My 10 year old nephew loves action and superhero movies, but for the first time, he was able to sit inside of a theater and watch a movie that represented him. What a time, what a time.
And yes, I will totally be Black Panther with him for Halloween, watch me.
Now, let’s get into our thoughts and opinions on the movie.
Black Panther was everything we could have hoped from this movie. Within the first 5 minutes of the movie, we were already internally screaming “Yassssss!” but mostly, we were speechless. Until afterwards, when we couldn’t stop talking about it!
Our Favorite Characters
Ariana’s favorite character: T’Challa of course. He won me over right away. His charm, his face, his kind spirit, his strength? what more do you need? Honestly, he could be my King any day. I have a soft spot for superhero’s with a big heart. Next up in line is M’Baku because he’s this giant man but he’s also not as threatening as I would think. I love when a person’s personality and spirit goes against their outer shell. My third favorite is Shuri. Shuri is literally me.
Hannah’s favorite character: M’Baku! I love him! He is hands down the best character. M’Baku had a badass character arc that no one else (yes, even T’Challa) had. He went from challenging T’Challa and making us all believe that he was going to be the villain to saving the day and proving to be way more loyal than anyone else! I can’t get over the scene where Queen Ramonda handed him all the power that comes with becoming the Black Panther and he led her to her son. He is not only more loyal to Wakanda, but he demonstrated such moral integrity that I just instantly loved him.
M’Baku really knows how to make an entrance! The gorilla noises were lit and I’m so ready for him to be a central character in the franchise. My second favorite is Shuri because Ariana is right, she’s literally her. And I loved her character too! She’s a fucking genius and super awesome. My third favorite is Okoye because she’s so badass. Also the scene with the rhino. She’s just cool as shit and I love her too.
We love a movie with great visuals. The colors, the locations, the costumes…listen, it all came together to make this beautiful cinematic film. The costumes and the differences between each tribe, and the references to actual African tribes, were so dope and really made the movie come alive. The thought that went into what every character wore was crazy, and the thought that went into developing the culture and physical culmination of the city was insane.
The architecture was such a dope hybrid between traditional economic establishments like marketplaces and modern, high tech urban landscapes that would fit into a place as advanced and developed as Wakanda. Every choice that they made contributed to a hyper-realistic depiction of a city that had the unique circumstances that Wakanda did! After the movie, we both were completely hooked.
This was hands down the best backstory movie we have ever seen. The depth of tradition, the complexity of the history both ancient and modern (the 90’s flashback), and the unexpectedness of the conflict and resolution all made this movie so amazing. We also thought the injections of predictability (like the waterfall scene) contributed to the “super hero”ness of the movie. No super hero movie would be complete without tropes like this, and we love that they included some classics like these in order for The Black Panther to still fit so perfectly within Marvel even while it is so remarkable and unique. Basically, it was a rad storyline.
This movie is so important because it’s a lesson in representation for everyone, but especially for Black children. We’re here for the influence that The Black Panther already has on pop culture and Hollywood, and we’re especially here for how amazing it is for the kids. It was so well done and so cool that we’re still psyched about it days later! Oh, and we’ll be seeing it approximately a million more times.
Until next time,
Ariana & Hannah