BLACK PANTHER : Movie Review

Updated: Sep 12, 2019



Content Creators have an opportunity to be Super Hero’s of modern perception! Just like the original Birth of a Nation was used to demonize black skin, today our art can instead be a tool to uplift black humanity, tear down limiting stereo-types and challenge the racially-limited mindset that still occupies much of Hollywood. 


BLACK PANTHER does this in stellar form! Hats off to Marvel Studios for trusting a young black director to bring this awesome character to life. Bravo to the utterly magnificent cast and crew for their multi-layered amazing performances as well as a set design, wardrobe and stunt coordination that made all of us beam with PRIDE. 


Truly I say with every piece of my heart...WAKANDA FOREVER!!!!!!


Like many of you, I saw the movie twice. Yes, it's that good. Plus there are so many beautiful stories being told at once that I had to see it again to digest it all.

And to be honest the first time I viewed it I was so overwhelmed by all I was feeling I HAD to go back a second time to let it resonate. 


There was a moment in the theatre during the South Korean chase scene that literally gave me pause. I looked at the three beautiful actresses prominent in that scene, both African and African American and it hit me that never before had I seen women who look like that be given that type of screen time in that particular way. 


Their beauty was elevated, their power was elevated, their intellect was elevated and everyone in that theatre LOVED them. None of the characters had a weave, no one was black but with Eurocentric features. They were all African looking and awesomely SPLENDID.


And the audience (Black, White, Hispanic, Asian and other) who had been told by the motion picture industry since their birth that only one type of beauty or look was worthy of taking this journey with was IN FOR ALL OF IT.


They loved the fierceness of Okoye, the clever cuteness of Shuri and the confident sexiness of Nakia. We were all....ALL IN. It was a watershed moment for Black Beauty and femininity.

I would have began crying if I wasn't filled with SO much Joy. My mother made a point my entire life to try to find a black doll or barbie for me to play with. In the space that she had control over she wanted to make sure that I saw healthy representations of myself. But she had no control over Hollywood, so growing up I wanted to be Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman!) and Loni Anderson (Jenifer on WKRP). They were beautiful, they were strong but at the end of the day, they weren't like me. 


So to be able to see black feminine beauty and strength represented on the Big Screen blessed me, even now as a grown woman. 


In the dream sequence when T'Challa visits his father for the first time and his father says, "Get up! You are a KING". It was the prophetic word of our legacy. The truth of who we truly are. A powerful people, a royal priesthood. How else could we have survived as a people for this long under conditions that no other race of people have ever had to endure.

The other thing that struck me about Marvels: BLACK PANTHER, was the over arching theme that played throughout the movie. The theme had a depth that I had not witnessed in the other Marvel films and please know I am a Marvel girl through and through. 


Three times in the film in three different ways, a question is asked, "Who are you?". The first time when T'Challa is defending the throne (at the beginning of the movie) and his mother screams out to him, "Show him who you are".


The second time when Killmonger comes in the palace in handcuffs and says, "Ask me who I am" and the last time when T'Challa is in Oakland and the little kid comes up to him at the end of the movie and says, "Who are you".


Each time that question is asked it represents three different things. The first time, when TChalla's mother played by the splendid Angela Basset says, "Show them who you are". It is asking,  what are you made of? What is the depth of your spirit, your will and your integrity?

The second time, when Killmonger comes in the palace in handcuffs and says, "Ask me who I am". It is asking, what is your bloodline? What is your legacy?


The third time, when T'Challa and Shuri are in Oakland and the little kid comes up to him at the end of the movie and says, "Who are you". The question begs the answer of...what are you prepared to do because of your will and your legacy. It is essentially asking, what is your purpose. 

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© 2019 Erin Wiley Sands.