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Black Panther Movie Themes Review Series

BLACK PANTHER MOVIE – THEMES REVIEW SERIES

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Over the past two weeks, I have written 10 blog posts which review a number of themes from the Disney-Marvel Studios movie, Black Panther, which just released on February 16, 2018.

This 10-part review collection is called, Wakanda Forever! Below are the links to each post so you can easily access them all in one place.

Feel free to share your thoughts and insights on the film and how they relate to these posts.

Wakanda Forever: Part 1: What Our Generation Needs

Wakanda Forever: Part 2: Black is Beautiful

Wakanda Forever: Part 3: The Tragedy of Disconnection

Wakanda Forever: Part 4: What Could Have Been…

Wakanda Forever: Part 5: Strong Women

Wakanda Forever: Part 6: Ancestor Worship and the Bible

Wakanda Forever: Part 7: Systemic Oppression in America

Wakanda Forever: Part 8

Wakanda Forever: Part 8 – We Are One Tribe

TChalla_UnitedNationsSpeech If you left as soon as the credits started rolling at the end of #BlackPanther, then you missed two additional scenes which help to set up Avengers: Infinity War, which releases in May. The first additional scene, which will be talked about in this post is of the Wakandan delegation visiting the United Nations.

King T’Challa, Nakia, Okoye and Ayo, take the stage in front of a packed auditorium of eager participants. T’Challa speaks about opening Wakanda up to the world. Here is part of what he says:

“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”

Wakanda Forever: Part 5

Wakanda Forever: Part 5 – Strong Women

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I’ll be honest, after seeing #BlackPanther with my wife, I was ready to buy her a spear and the Dora Milaje warrior outfit! Shaving her hair is optional, but the elite warriors surely made an impression.

SOMEBODY HELP ME!

There are no “damsels in distress” in this movie. It was refreshing to see women acting from a position of strength rather than weakness. Many of these female characters did what we would stereotypically reserve for men. This movie demonstrated what many of us already know, but rarely see celebrated on the big screen: a woman can be emotionally, intellectually, physically and spiritually strong! A woman can have honor and loyalty to self, family, nation and world.  And not just any woman… but a Black woman. And not only were they strong in the film, but the men in their lives had no major problems deferring to their counsel!

Wakanda Forever: Part 4

Wakanda Forever: Part 4 – What Could Have Been…

Wakanda City

It’s Sunday night: At the time of this writing, I’ve just come back from seeing Black Panther for the 3rd time since its opening two days ago. The first time I went with my wife and godmother. The second with some friends from church. The third with my parents. Each time has been a great and unique experience, primarily because each audience has been different and responds slightly different. Also, with each viewing, I notice more of the story by picking up dialogue I previously missed and by paying attention to what is happening in the background of a scene instead of the foreground.

A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE

Wakanda Forever: Part 3

Wakanda Forever: Part 3 – The Tragedy of Disconnection

Click here to read Part 2 or Part 1 of this multi-part movie review.

Black Panther Killmonger vs TChalla

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARNING: there is a minor spoiler in this particular review.

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther movie is a treasure chest of a story. One gem in particular which is at the heart of this treasury is a cautionary tale about what can happen when a person is disconnected from their heritage and the relationships which help to define it.

TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN

Both T’Challa (protagonist) and Erik Killmonger (antagonist) have been disconnected from their fathers (and by extension their heritage). However, T’Challa has a community and an entire nation which helps him reconnect to who he is and who he is destined to become. On the other hand, Erik Killmonger, who grew up in the ‘hood,  has no one and nothing to fall back on but himself. He has a piece of his heritage, but he grows in isolation, warping what he does know into something else entirely.

Wakanda Forever: Part 2

Wakanda Forever: Part 2 – Black Is Beautiful

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Click here to read Part 1 of my multi-part Black Panther Movie Review. More to share in the coming weeks!

AN UNEXPECTED THOUGHT

And so it hits me as I’m watching #BlackPanther for the 2nd time on opening day. Sitting in a packed theater with friends & people of all ethnicities, watching T’Challa and Nakia sit on the side of a mountain. They are sharing intimately about a subject matter that’s usually reserved for white characters. At that moment, they both became more beautiful to me. The entire movie became more beautiful to me with its vast array of ebony characters. Africa became more beautiful.

Wakanda Forever: Part 1

Wakanda Forever: Part 1 – What Our Generation Needs

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Black Panther is the movie that our generation needs right now. It is a movie of historic proportions.  I am not going to give away any spoilers in this review. But before I get into the film, let me share an experience:

A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

In 2003 I visited Ghana, West Africa.  Actually, it was my very first time on the continent and when my feet left the airplane steps and touched African soil, I suddenly had a feeling I couldn’t explain… I was “home.” How could I feel “home” in a place I had never physically visited before? I still don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps there’s something in the collective consciousness of a people who were stripped from their motherland. But, while sitting in the theater watching Black Panther, there were scenes which caused me to have a feeling very similar to that first visit to Ghana.