Written by Lauren Turner
Top Instances During “Black Panther” That Prove it is the Film of the
If you’re not living under a rock, you know Black Panther broke into movie screens and shattered records. For some, it’s just another great flick from the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) and just added hype for “The Avengers, Infinity War”. I will speak on behalf of the black community that T’Challa, Nakia, Okoye and Erik Killmonger are just some of the few who should inducted into a fictional character Icon Hall of Fame list. These actors who brought these characters to life were everything and more. Here are a few instances that prove this is the film we will need to remind us who we are, what we need to do to make this world a better place, and to believe in ourselves when times are tough.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!!!
Nakia rescuing the Nigerian girls
Early in the film, we see Lupita Nyoungo’s role of Nakia rescuing younger girls on the back of a truck. This could be a direct or similar reference to the 276 kidnapped Nigerian girls by the works of Boko Haram back in 2014. As the media functions based on click bait, it’s easy to forget tragedies that aren’t in our backyard. Right then and there we see the fearlessness and courage of women (black women to be exact), and through Nakia’s strong beliefs and alluring looks, she controls T’Challa’s input on how to share Wakanda’s technological prowess with struggling nations.
Women Run the World
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 20, 2018
Although Wakanda is structured through a male dominant monarchy, it is the women who really possess all the power. We see this in so many instances. One example next to the above-mentioned scene is Okoye who is the general of the all-women army the Dora Milaje (a team of bodyguards for the King), kicks ass in a dress, is bald and beautiful. Not that her looks need to dictate her worth, but it’s nice to see proof that black is beautiful and that beauty is vital for little black girls to know their worth. T’Challa (Black Panther) is a respected man who believes in the women around him, and values their insight. How often have you seen a man listen to a women’s ideals or values? With everything going on with #MeToo, #TimesUp, and frankly just men being stubborn and demeaning a women’s intellect, I find it refreshing that he is successful because he has an assembly of women by his side and not behind him.
The Main Conflict
Both male leads are intentionally flawed throughout the film and struggle to find solutions to a problem more complex than themselves. I’m saying this right now; Killmonger isn’t a villain. I know, I know so many articles already exist confirming or damning this opinion. However, Killmonger’s viewpoint was derived from his father’s belief that Wakanda should share the wealth of their resources so other nations of color are no longer oppressed. Killmonger saw violence as a main operative for his dream to come true. He believed in utilizing force and equipping those poorer nations the artillery to take lives for justice (Sound like anyone familiar *cough American foreign and domestic policy cough*). T’Challa believed in preserving their resources because they were fearful of the consequences in sharing (again, *cough American values cough*).
So we have two wrongs essentially, Killmonger didn’t want inclusion, and only wanted to provide opportunity for those oppressed, which is fair, but behaving the same way those of the majority have treated people of color only sets us back. T’Challa was weary in sharing resources because traditionally it was just something Wakandans didn’t do. At the end, T’Challa successfully takes down Killmonger, and realizes that it is time to educate the world on their resources and he has his two main chicks by his side (His sister Shuri and his love interest Nakia) to help him.
This movie isn’t just for Americans.
We are just fortunate enough to have the money in our wallets to spend. This movie is for the world and how backwards we are regarding progression of equity and our obsession with nationalism and loyalty.
If you saw the final secret scene that the MCU blesses us with in every movie, you see Bucky Barnes with Shuri, walking through a rural area of Wakanda. She beckons him to continue exploring “There is so much for you to learn.” It symbolizes to us that we need to stop talking about ourselves, and maybe learn and listen from other countries.
At least one fan can hope. The previews for Avengers: Infinity War, due out later this year, allude to the important roles Wakanda’s people and technology will play in the worldwide battle against Thanos and his forces.