There’s been a lot of hype about the upcoming Black Panther film. The film is set to be released worldwide on February 16,2018. Which is convenient since February is Black History Month right? Anyone who follows my blog knows I have mentioned I grew up reading comic books as a child. I read a lot of DC and Marvel comic books. I used to read Spider Man,Batman,Superman,The Hulk,X Men and The Fantastic Four. Over the years I have collected hundreds of comic books. But I was always fascinated by the black comic book characters. Some of my favorites were Storm,Black Lightning,Steel,Misty Knight and Luke Cage. But my favorite was probably Black Panther. Panther first appeared in Fantastic Four issue #52 back in 1966. That issue of Fantastic Four is selling for $400-$800 on the internet. Although after the Panther film comes out I’m sure the price will skyrocket. I always thought Black Panther was a cool character. Panther’s birth name is T’Challa. T’Challa’s senses and physical attributes have been enhanced to superhuman levels by the heart-shaped herb. T’Challa is a brilliant tactician, strategist, scientist, tracker and a master of all forms of unarmed combat whose unique hybrid fighting style incorporates acrobatics and aspects of animal mimicry. T’Challa being a royal descendent of a warrior race is also a master of armed combat, able to use a variety of weapons but prefers unarmed combat. He is a master planner who always thinks several steps ahead and will go to extreme measures to achieve his goals and protect the fictional kingdom of Wakanda. Wakanda is not a real African country. But it could just as well be Kenya,Nigeria,Tanzania or Ghana. And this is one of my conerns about the film. I have covered great African civilizations on this blog many times. Most of us know about The Mali empire as well as ancient Kemet(Egypt),Ghana and Kingdom of Kush. So why is Hollywood making films about fictional African empires when real ones exist? Of course you know why right?
I will admit that the trailer looks really good. The visuals are nice and it looks to be action packed. I have watched the reaction from many black film goers on the internet. I would say that 85% of the reaction has been positive. And I can see why. Talented actor Chadwick Boseman plays the title character. The cast has some pretty big names. The cast includes Angela Bassett,Forest Whitaker,Danai Gurira,Michael B. Jordan,Lupita Nyongo(my favorite),Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright. It’s a majority black cast. Even the director Ryan Coogler is a black man. So is this a black film? It seems like it. But of course the film is being made by Marvel Studios. Marvel Studios was bought by the Walt Disney Company back in 2009 for 4.24 billion dollars. I did a post in the past about the wicked and racist Disney company. The Disney president and CEO is a white man named Robert Iger. So the Black Panther film is basically a Disney film with a black cast.
I have done many posts on racist Hollywood and their negative stereotypes. Many black people are excited about this film. And it’s because we want to see ourselves in a positive light. We want to see ourselves looking glorious and majestic. We want to see black people as kings and queens on the big screen. Hollywood has given the masses films about Roman empires for years. Films like Ben Hur,Julius Caesar,Spartacus and Gladiator. Not to mention fictional films/tv shows like Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones. They give us hundreds of films showing them as powerful kings and queens. Then when they want to show African royalty…we get a fictional country?? That is white supremacy at it’s best. The film looks good but I know how Hollywood operates. I will be looking for any type of anti-blackness in this film. And I’m sure there will be some type of black degradation in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s some interracial love going on . Maybe they’ll slip in some lesbian/homosexual scene. Or possibly showing African traitors in which to instill black people to not trust each other. I could be wrong…but I doubt it.
Wakanda is fictional but the Kingdom of Kush was real. Don’t get me wrong,I have nothing against fictional stories. I grew up enjoying films and television shows like Star Trek and Star Wars. I think they can be fun and entertaining. I just think we have to be mindful who is getting our money when we pay for these films. Black Panther looks like it will be a big blockbuster. And I’m glad the mostly black cast is getting paid. But the white owned Disney/Marvel company will be getting the majority of the money. We will be giving our money right back to racist Hollywood. They are just doing this film to throw black people a bone! But there are many black comic book artists and writers that could use our support. That’s what I’ll address in part two.