Pride and Roots in “Black Panther”
By Corey Holt
The highly anticipated release of Marvel film “Black Panther” receives positive responses from the African-American community because of its message of pride and connection to African roots.
The Marvel film, starring Chadwick Boseman who plays the Wakandan King and Black Panther, T’Challa, and Michael B Jordan who plays his nemesis, Killmonger, was released in theaters Feb.16.
The film also starred other prominent African-American actors such as Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker and Danai Gurira.
“I had to go see it as soon as it showed,” said East Oakland native and neighborhood Barber Lalo The Barber. “I was proud when I saw the town [Oakland] pop up on the screen,” he said.
In Oakland, the name “Black Panther” carries the weight of the legendary organization that links the city to the first chapter of the Black Panther Party, founded in 1966 by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton.
The phrase “Black Pride” was a slogan coined by the movement, and its essence is the centerpiece to the film’s projection with its Black characters who portray images of royalty in an African civilization.
The characters in the movie are played by highly respected actors in the African-American community. They embody a positive image of an advanced African civilization unaffected by European colonization while remaining connected to the traditions of their ancestral roots.
It unwraps the story of European Colonization, and connects some dots in the process by unpacking the effects of the Atlantic Slave trade and the diaspora of African people across the globe.
There aren’t many films that connect Africa and its relationship to African-Americans post-American slavery. In most cases, African-American movies are set in contemporary or American slavery settings, and rarely involve a storyline that addresses the physiological effects of colonialism and the Atlantic Slave Trade directly.
Although the film has produced some critics who believe the film did not live up to its hype, most have agreed the film is powerful to the Black community and the film’s overall messages and underlying themes are a positive influence on the culture.
“Black Panther” was not only a good film for those who enjoyed its storyline and inclusion of African traditional ceremony and wardrobe, but it was filled with action scenes that pushed the dialogue.
Lalo The Barber