By Miya Murata and Aryanna Zavala, Clarion Staff
When Black Panther was announced, movie goers got excited because it was going to emphasize the beautiful culture of Africa. Due to the current political climate in the United States, people were ready for a film that showcased the interesting and magnificent African culture and put African Americans front and center. Ryan Coogler, Sac State alumni and the director of Black Panther said in an interview with the New York Times, “You know, you got to have the race conversation. And you can’t have that without having the slavery conversation.” Coogler understood the need of a film that proudly displayed black culture without telling the same narrative and that the film tackled an important genre,“Superhero films that that deal with issues of being African descent.”
Since its release on February 16, 2018, the film has made over $1.237 billion worldwide making it #9 on the highest grossing movies ever list and one of the most grossing movies in Marvel history. The cast is predominately Black, which is significant because in the film and television industry about 13.6% of characters are African American compared to 70.8% of white characters.
The cultural background of Black Panther has eye-catching moments that represents a genuine loyalty to African culture. When designing the clothing that would be used in the film, Ruth Carter got most of her inspiration by, “imagining a place that wasn’t colonized by the Dutch or the British.” In the Washington Post, she stated, “I wanted to create a story behind the costumes and elements that were……attractive and intimidating.”
Marvel films are an inspiration to many people around the world, as they convey a powerful message that everyone has their own kind of superpower and can be anything they want to be despite their background. Black Panther is such an important movie for Africans everywhere because it shows the importance of African culture and has caused a movement within the African American community to embrace their heritage.