Black Panther: the much-needed epitomé of Black Excellence
Black excellence. A term that is thrown around very loosely these days on social media for just about anything. I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty of attributing being the first black person in line for coffee while all of my white coworkers wait behind me to black excellence, but we ain't talking about me!
Simply put, what the term really means is the true and mighty roar of greatness that exudes from black people while excelling. The first true example of this that I encountered was from Storm of the X-Men. She was a queen in every sense of the word and with every storm she conjured, she maintained her composure while simultaneously whooping ass. Now that you have an idea of what this term actually means and with Black Panther hitting theaters, let's chat.
Black Panther has offered us a true example of black excellence in too many ways to count, but let's drop a few shall we? First off, the most technologically advanced nation in the entire world (of the Marvel Cinematic Universe) is an African one that has been UNTOUCHED by white people. Then we have the Dora Milaje, a group of "bad ass women" as described by actress Danai Gurira; warriors enlisted to protect the throne. Think of them as the Wakandan rendition of the secret service.
The main antagonist, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) has a PhD in Engineering from MIT and looks to take the throne. All the while King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) has a PhD in Physics from Oxford University. We literally have about 4 different wakes of black people in this movie that we haven't even seen yet.
“This movie will prove to the colonialists that if they had not interfered with Africa, we'd be so far advanced, may make them believe we built those pyramids in Egypt...The metaphor is, Africa has great potential. Africa no longer relates to the world with a bag and bone. We’re looking for interaction and trade, not aid." - Actor John Kani to NBC
As someone who has been into movies my entire life, I have always yearned for black representation in these white-dominated projects. Now why white movies are considered the bar for film is another topic and 1000 words for another day. But here we are, in Black History Month of 2018, and we are finally getting something we have yearned for. A movie showcasing black excellence in a sea of caucasian films rather than being awkwardly placed IN a caucasian film. Isn't it kind of true to our nature? Like "you know what, fuck this white people shit, let's make our own" and as always, it's poppin'
This movie has stirred up some very interesting conversations on the Internet these days, but many of them are missing the actual point and importance of this movie. While I do think the social media activists need to tone it down a wee bit, word to @NeicyCollins. This movie is definitely BIG for us and cause for celebration, but I really don't wanna hear any "no justice, no peace!" chants in the middle of a Marvel movie, friends! We nerds have been waiting for this and are excited to see how this all ties into the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
Black Panther is the perfect modern-day example of Black Excellence for a number of reasons, and this is just one of the many reasons why this is going to be one of the biggest films of our time, just like Get Out. Marvel and Disney knows this too and they're playing right into our hands with it. Nothing is by accident, not the Black History Month release date or the Kendrick Lamar/TDE-dominated soundtrack/album for the movie. I mean look at how people was coming at the premiere! Decked out in African attire on the royal carpet. I. Am. Here. For. It!
Black Panther is about T'Challa returning home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place as king and fully take over the Black Panther mantle after his father's death seen in Captain America: Civil War. That is until Killmonger swooped in like "nah fam, this my throne." T'Challa then gets pulled into some conflict that could jeopardize the whole nation of Wakanda. With the help of his allies and the full power of the Black Panther, he must protect his throne and people at all costs. Make sure y'all go see Black Panther and stay tuned for our review!