Back in the month of February, the movie Black Panther debuted in theaters. And the response since then has been a major cultural push. Not only for the fans of the movie that have kept the Wakanda fun going, but the African American community. That’s right, the Black community, a community that a movie like this was the first of its kind. Why, well, we have never seen an epic action adventure superhero film with a predominantly Black cast that has done this well. So now, what, do we see more of this, or will this be it? Because the push from this film has been major. But most of all, what does this do for the image of Black people throughout the world?
When you travel the world and ask questions pertaining to African Americans, there have not always been these positive interpretations of Black people. And these sentiments are not coming from people who have ever or will ever meet us in America. So you think to yourself, how and why do they feel ill-will toward us. Well, it has a lot to do with the idea that there aren’t these positive images of us on film and television. When you look throughout history, we have been the villains, and rarely the hero. But the White characters have been not only villains, but more heroic in their image. And combine that with a power structure in America that is still mostly White and you have one hell of an image. Which is why it’s up to us, to shift our own likeness. We cannot leave it up to another group to showcase what we are and who we are effectively.
These images in film mean less to the predominantly White community. But when you look at professional Black people, you’d be surprised what sparked their interest in their profession. Meaning the Cosby show spurred out an entire generation of young Black doctors, lawyers, and business people. Watching that show in the 1980’s, it was seen as a myth of some sort, or too far-fetched for Black people to be doctors and lawyers from within the community. Young people who saw this film became so enthralled from the Black community that it put sense of pride within them. A feeling of, “Wow, I’m going to the theater to see these positive images of people that look like me; and it’s an epic movie too.”
The global view is what is the goal for us as Black people. We fought for so long to maintain our rights in America, but the globe is bigger than just this plot land. A generation must now come along and prove, there is more than just this greatness that lies in this film. And I for one am one of those individuals who belongs to the Black community with his own set of views and means of bringing a good feel and vibe to the Black community’s image.
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