The Black Panther film released In the Spring of 2018 bringing a different kind of superhero flick to the masses and changing the game forever. For us, by us, Black Panther, the story of a hero trying to find his way and protect his people.
A star-studded cast is lead by the late-great Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther and leader of the independent African nation Wakanda, King T’Challa. Letitia Wright plays his genius sister Shuri, Academy-Award winner Lupita Nyong’o is his love interest Nakia, Angela Basset, his mother, Danai Gurira is Okoye, the leader of Wakanda’s all-female special forces team. Plus award winning veteran actor Forrest Whitaker, Sterling K. Martin, Daniel Kaluuya, and Winston Duke all do their thing as well. And last but certainly not least, Michael B. Jordan as the villainous Killmonger. The level of black acting excellence on display during the films 134 run time is truly amazing.
The story is of a proud and successful African country and its hero/King stepping onto the world stage. With some good old family drama and exhilarating action thrown in to boot. And even though it was a Disney/Marvel film, it didn’t shy away from it’s blackness. African art, fashion, traditions, and even dialect are on full display bringing director Ryan Coogler’s epic vision of what it means to be black and be a superhero to life.
The numbers don’t lie. Black Panther grossed $700.1 million in the United States and Canada, and another $646.9 million in the international box office. That’s $1.347 billion total. It became the highest-grossing solo superhero film, the third-highest-grossing superhero film overall, and the ninth-highest-grossing film of all time. It was also the highest grossing film by a black director and the 33rd film to ever break $1 billion. Oh and the highest-grossing film of 2018.
And of course the film’s impact on The Culture was/is even more profound. The movie brings a beautiful vision of positivity to a group of people who are rarely the centerpieces of Hollywood movies. Plus, what we know from the research on racial and ethnic socialization is that it helps to strengthen identity and reduce the likelihood of internalizing negative stereotypes about one’s ethnic group. And Black Panther with it’s myriad of talented black creators for The Culture in front and behind the camera provided that positivity on a scale almost never seen in popular culture before. From the strong black leads to the costuming to the slang, #WakandaForever has become a permanent part of The Culture.
We hope you enjoyed this look at the first Black Panther film. Check out some more of our #CultureClassics.
Written by @TalentedMrFord