So I just walked out of Black Panther. Simply put, it was a great movie regardless of whatever scale: action movie, black movie, super hero movie, etc. It was a great movie. James/Jackie/Thurgood/Black Panther did his thing, Luptia got busy, the Princess was super silly, the “Get Out” guy had a sunken place moment but he showed out too, Wallace/Killmonger was my guy as usual (hate it had to be him), and lastly the MVP goes to Ryan Coogler for the direction and screenplay.
I walked out of the movie theater feeling empowered and proud. I got in the car and started to reflect on the movie, and I got hit with so many ideas, messages and takeaways. When you get pass the action, visuals affects, and love story; Black Panther gave us so much substance. One instance of substance I enjoyed was the African themes of Africa being the motherland; rich with resources cutting against the mainstream imagery we get of Africa being poor, filled with starving children. I know, I know; it was a fictional movie, but as I sat there I was happy my son got to see Africa in a positive light.
When we brought up the movie and our takeaways in the group chat, a couple of the guys said themes that didn't even cross my mind. One, the role a father plays in a child's life specifically a black child's life ( I found this very interesting, we had the two main characters giving us each view point). They also brought up the divided-ness and the black on black violence during a portion of the movie. I enjoyed each point but I'll leave them to tackle those issues. Those are blog post in themselves. The point or takeaway that stayed with me throughout the movie was how similar Wakanda is to America.
I think the similarities were created purposefully. America and Wakanda are both seen as wealthy nations, Wakanda due to their precious metal, America due to industry. Due to wealth, both nations have potential influence and both are Nations with refugee issues. Wakanda is known for not accepting outsiders or foreigners, even punk ass Klaw knew it. In one scene a general says we don't allow foreigners because they come with problems. Much to the same tone we hear from Americans about our refugee problem. In this moment, I think the writers and Ryan Coogler were shining the light on America's problem. We are currently a nation split on how to embrace foreigners/outsiders/aliens. We have one side of America acting on fear, saying no, we don't want them. Scared of what might come with them: less jobs, less security, more disease, and lost opportunity. Which baffles me because we're a country built on embracing anyone to contribute to the same cause of life, liberty and freedom. Wakanda's attitude towards foreigners proved to hurt them. They acted out of fear and refused to go out and help other nations and people who were oppressed and failed to recognize their duty as humans. We're here to serve and help each other regardless of status, color, influence or wealth; we're here to serve. Wakanda realized that once the oppressed showed up at its doorstep on a mission. Black Panther made $218 million at the box office this weekend, that equates to a lot of eye balls, I'm hoping more Americans begin to see the light Black Panther shined on our refugee issue before we get some big shit at our doorstep.