Friday, September 30, 2022

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    Black Panther

    Black Panther, is steeped very specifically and purposefully in its blackness.  “It’s the first time in a very long time that we’re seeing a film with centered black people.  These characters, are rulers of a kingdom, inventors and creators of advanced technology.  We’re not dealing with black pain, and black suffering, and black poverty” – the ususal topics of acclaimed movies about the black experience.

    If I had to reduce “Black Panther” to a single word, it would be “glorious”.  The movie was a first on many fronts: a Marvel blockbuster directed by an African American, Ryan Coogler, and starring a nearly all-black cast led by Chadwick Boseman as the title character King T’Challa (the “black Panther” himself, Michael B Jordan as the villain Killmonger, Danai Gurira as Okoye, the head of the king’s guards and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, the king’s lady love – and the kingdom’s chief spy in the outside world.

    This is a movie in which even the film’s secondary roles are star studded “Get Out” start Daniel Kaluuya plays T’Challa’s boyhood friend W’Kabi, “This is Us” star Sterling K. Brown plays the young king’s uncle N’Jou, forest Whitaker is the king’s chief advisor and the great Angela Bassett is the Queen Mother.  (Not to mention the scene stealing performances from Winston Duke as the droll and stubborn M’Baku, and Letitia Wright as T’Challa’s tech savvy baby sister Shuri.)

    Here, for one of the first times in Hollywood history, an idyllic, technically advanced and regally organized African society has been boldly and unabashedly depicted on the big screen.  This is a society that remains perfect because it has wisely been kept secret from the greed and cruelty of the “colonizers,” as the Wakandans call the people of the West, including the Americans.  Wakanda, in short is the Africa of black dreams.  Black Panther represents what is lying deep in our DNA and is a movie to make all black people proud of their great past and even greater future.

    “Black Panther is breaking records worldwide and is a Must See”

    • Biggest non-sequel opening weekend
    • Biggest solo superhero launch of all time
    • Biggest Friday to Sunday opening weekend for a non-holiday debut
    • Biggest long holiday weekend
    • Biggest opening weekend ever for any movie not directed by a white director
    • Biggest grossing move (in North America) directed by a black director
    • Biggest pre-summer opening weekend
    • Biggest Monday gross
    • 2nd biggest comic book superhero opening weekend
    • 2nd biggest Sunday gross
    • 2nd biggest four day gross
    • 3rd biggest non-summer opening weekend
    • 4th biggest Saturday gross
    • 8th biggest Friday and 8th biggest single day gross
    • 25th biggest comic book movie of all time
    • 26th biggest superhero movie of all time

    Yes Black Panther is easily one of the best super hero movies ever made, but that’s the least important thing it is.  The reason it’s on everyone’s lips, the reason people who don’t care about superheroes suddenly care about superheroes, the reason you are reading these words, is that this movie is a moment, a watershed in the cultural history of African-American people.

    It’s not that there have been must-see black movies before, or even black movies that shook the Zeitgeist like a tree.  In 1967, African Americans crowded into theatres to watch Sidney Poitier, as Detective Virgil Tibbs, slap a racist white Southern cotton planter who had slapped him first.  In 1971, they turned out big to see Richard Roundtree as John Shaft redefine black movie masculinity, strolling through Times Square in a brown leather coat as the wah-wah guitars of that Isaac Hayes theme buzz-sawed behind him.

    Similarly, was there ever a poll in which three out of every four black people declared their intention to see “Shaft?”


    74 percent of African American say they will see Black Panther at some point,

    with just over half – 52 percent – saying they’ll see it in a theater.

    “Taking the World by Storm”


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