By Sydney Matthews
Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther is more than just a well-done, commercially successful super hero film. In the midst of our white nationalist climate, its narrative emboldens imperative notions of Black nuance, prosperity, and utility.
For instance, in one aspect the characters Black Panther and N’jobu demonstrates how being black does not encapsulate one set of values. Mainstream media has often failed to represent Black characters as multi-dimensional entities with nuanced thought and powerful development. Black Panther successfully destabilizes these tropes through its rich depiction of black culture and identity. This is complexity is illustrated in the divergence of Wakandan thought, ideologies, and leadership. For T’Challa, Wakandan prosperity was grounded in ideals of secrecy and suppression of national knowledge. To the contrary, N’jobu asserted black identity was rooted in philanthropic efforts to protect racial minorities outside Wakandan borders. The conflict of borders and resource allocation echoes political trends today. These strong parallels collapse the space between fiction and reality and forces audience members to ask uncomfortable questions. When your life is in jeopardy how willing are you to aid those who are also suffering? Could it be solely a divisive strategy of American government, fear of own security, or are we so blinded by each other’s contrast that we don’t feel inclined to help one another?
But, I digress.
The Interplay of the Black Panther’s and Okoye’s politically and athletically inclination highlighted the unparalleled strength embedded within black culture.
Ultimately, inclusivity in the media echoes on a on broader scope ,a global understanding of the true capacity and representation of a myriad of people.
Conclusively, the antagonist N’jobu had good intentions to aid those who were disenfranchised but the execution was overly aggressive-burning of the garden of flowers that give the black panther its power. Comparable to our current invasive tactics within the Black Lives Matter movement. The intentions of the movements is honorable -advocation for equal value, but the destruction of neighborhood resources during Trayvon martin protests and other senseless black deaths from police brutality is counter intuitive. Essentially, destroying our own resources is simply is a disservice because we become our own impediment for prosperity.
Black Panther made me feel proud to be black and this movie embodied fearlessness and grace of Black people that is usually overlooked in media .