There is much to be said about a film as impactful as Marvel's 'Black Panther,' a cinematic experience that has generated tons of buzz‌ preceding its release, exceeded expectations and provided black audiences with the cultural uplifting that we all needed. Adding to the reasons why Black History Month 2018 has been so incredible, the film's monumental box office success and cultural impact has allowed for its immediate embrace by mainstream media and society.


'Black Panther' is a moment for black people to control our own narratives. The elements of the film from language (Xhosa) to wardrobe are inherently and authentically continental Africa.

Seeing the beautiful, black Wakandan people on the big screen with rich, dark melanin on display calls to mind the accounts we've read of the riches and societal advancements of precolonial Africa.

The film highlights the complexity of our arts, beliefs, languages, technologies, and worldly views. For many of us, it forces us to focus on the collective pain we've endured as a people. For me, however, watching the film reinforced unspeakable optimism.

While it shows how much we've had taken from us, it also highlights our capabilities, our talents and all the things we can accomplish.

Through T'Challa's journey of sovereignty, he has battled with ‌sharing the rich and powerful resources of Wakanda (rare vibranium) with the world. All that has been traded and stolen from Africa affirms his skepticism. It is especially challenging in how we've come to see many postcolonial African nations thrive, despite where the continent would have been had it been able to develop independently.


With a world in peril, Wakanda ‌becomes the hero the world needs. Resources for people in disenfranchised communities are now available. Due to its resource preservation in the film, a place stripped and made destitute is the key to monumental change.

'Black Panther' holds up a mirror for the world to see the error in the treatment of black people; it allows black people to look at ourselves through art as art. It shows the strength, vulnerability and‌ importance of black women. We see the diversity amongst ourselves and heights at which we can reach in industries like science, technology and mathematics. The film teaches us that while we once needed the world to pick us up and dust us off we've proven to ourselves and the rest of the world how powerful we are–how powerful we've always been–when we band together to support what we believe in.

The black film canon can add 'Black Panther' as an example of how our people offer talent and revolutionary art in exchange for visibility. What comes next is uncertain, but black people must reclaim our time by maintaining the same energy for more top quality black products across all industries. What is certain, however, is the astonishing amount of pride in identity felt since the film's debut. We are, without a fragment of doubt, indisputably magical.