Cultural signifigance in Black Panther

Racial stereotypes broken by inclusion of primarily black roles

Nathan Martinez, Staff Writer

When it comes to portrayal of black people as heroes, things have been historically lacking.

There is the occasional sidekick, typically with similar sets of powers to one another and not much development. But this month promises the release of a film that intends to change this lack of representation: Black Panther. Most everything about this movie is unprecedented: an almost entirely black main cast, portrayal of a highly advanced African nation, and essentially guaranteed financial success.

All of these things have generated an enormous amount of anticipation for a film that guarantees to be the cultural landmark of a lifetime. There has never been anything like it. Black Panther is one of the most hyped up movies of 2018.

Fans of the Marvel character and those who advocate for more diversity in Hollywood films have said this movie is long overdue. Black Panther, also known as T’Challa, returns home to Wakanda after his father’s death to take his rightful place as king. But as he returns home a powerful enemy comes to light and Black Panther has to get his allies and defeat this new enemy and protect his home.

With this being the plot for the movie there is so much more than just hype for this movie. Black Panther’s costume designer Ruth E. Carter said her inspiration for the fiction land Wakanda is stemmed from her real African American experiences. This movie has an afro-futurist fashion for the costumes. She had to design the outfits in a way that’s apart of Africa but also distinctive to the isolated kingdom of Wakanda.

There is also a lot of excitement surrounding the fact that the original cut of the film was said to be four hours long. The film was cut back to two hours, but there is a lot of interest in finding out was cut out and what made it in. Black Panther has been so hyped that fans have started fundraisers for young people without money to pay for tickets to see it in a theater.

Frederick Joseph in New York raised over $40,000 so kids can go and see Black Panther in theatres there. And in the Austin area an organization called the Black Film Collective has started doing the same with a GoFundMe campaign.

There goal was $4,000 and they already have reached their goal. Now 200 kids of color in the Austin area will get a free ticket to Black Panther when it comes out in theatres.