I just feel compelled to take a moment and speak my piece on the phenom that is Marvel’s Black Panther.
When I first heard that this Marvel movie was in the the works, I was excited. This would be the first time in my lifetime that a black superhero would headline a film about his own story and the story of his people. Wow. We are big Marvel fans in my house, and so this would be another fun big screen adventure, with the added bonus of my young adults seeing their hue reflected on the big screen in a starring role. Yes.
But as it got closer to the time for the release of this movie, I realized more fully what I had been sensing: that this would be so much more than a movie in the Marvel cinematic universe. This was going to be revolutionary in its presentation and impact. (Which is why I understand now, after seeing the film, that these lyrics were included in the trailer: “The revolution will not be televised…the revolution will be live.”)
Black Panther is big y’all.
I have seen it twice now, and in my opinion, you almost have to see it at least that many times to capture the nuances and layers that are shown. Director Ryan Coogler shows us how a story can and should be told.
A story can be told well, with a cohesive and meaningful storyline.
It can be told in a visually stunning way.
It can be told with wit and humor.
It can be told without the sexualization of women.
It can be told with honor of family and history.
It can address social and moral issues in a very contemporary way that grips your heart and mind.
It can be told about one group of people in a way that speaks to all people.
It can be told in a way that leaves you wanting more of this high-caliber quality of storytelling.
Like Danai Gurira said on The View today, “If you create excellence, it will be responded to.” Black Panther is such an example of excellence in film, and it is a big part of why people have responded to it with such passion.
Much of what I experienced watching this movie took my breath away. The beautiful ensemble of actors/actresses, the authentic and colorful costuming, the settings and scenery all made an impact visually. The strength and femininity of the women, the strong familial and tribal connections, and the portrayal of loss impacted me emotionally. And the portrayal of such an advanced civilization (especially in technology) made my (nerd) heart sing.
And ahhhh….the lessons that were shared onscreen. Here are some of the thoughts that made an imprint on my mind and heart:
- Elders are important and vital to the success of a nation, a people…and (wise) counsel is necessary.
- When launching into something new, it is ok to feel afraid inadequate for a moment. But then you have to get your bearings and move forward in what you are called to do.
- No human leader is 100% perfect. Not even the ones we revere the most.
- When it’s your turn to lead, you cannot be defined by who came before you. You can take the wisdom you have learned from them, but the leader you become is not up to anyone else but you.
- Standing for what you believe takes many forms. One person may stay and seek to influence for good, another may seek a way to resist and make change that way. Each can work in concert to accomplish the goal.
- It is vital to see what is possible. You need to see something great in order to move towards it.
- Anger for a cause can come from a real place. We can never dismiss what has influenced someone’s perspective. People need to be heard.
There is much more that I could say, but I will pause here. What are your thoughts after seeing Black Panther? What here in this post resonates with you? I would love for you to share here in the comments <3
Thanks for taking the time to stop by and listen and share,