Move over Lion King… and hello Black Panther

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Black Panther is the highly anticipated superhero movie directed by Ryan Coogler due to be released February 12.

And in the eyes of many moviegoers, this is just another Marvel movie.

However, to others, it is a revolutionary step forward in the diversity of superhero films.

The last black superhero to have a leading role in their own film was Blade back in 1998 – a half-vampire, half-human vampire slayer, starring Wesley Snipes.

Black Panther first appeared in Marvel comic books back in 1966.

This new movie is set in the fictional African country Wakanda, a technologically advanced, flourishing kingdom.

Following his father’s death, T’Challa, played by Chadwick Boseman, returns to Wakanda, to take his rightful place as king.

A powerful enemy of T’Challa resurfaces, putting Wakanda and the whole world at risk.

Faced with this danger, the young king must gather his allies and unleash the full power of the Black Panther to save his people.

Other familiar faces starring in this movie include Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan and Black Mirror actors, Letitia Wright and Daniel Kaluuya.

A movie like this under Marvel’s name breaks the barrier between all-white cast and an all-black cast film.

Already, it has been predicted to make up to $150 million in its opening weekend.

According to Fandango.com, Black Panther set the record for best first day advanced ticket sales.

The last film to have this record was Captain America: Civil War– who made a total of $166 million at the box office.

Clearly, the hype is proving people are excited to see something different.

In other words, it will not be segregated as a “black people” movie.

The ridiculous assumption starring a majority black cast film is reserved for black only audiences, contributes to the struggle for accreditation from film academies.

For example, the horror movie “Get Out,” directed by Jordan Peele, being placed in the comedic category at the Golden Globes 2017.

Yes, superheroes with awesome powers do not exist but, the impact of representation does.

This is especially true for the younger black audience.

Seeing characters play significant roles can be life-changing.

But this time around, the black person is not playing a stereotype for comedic genius, a sidekick, baby mama or the help.

Nor are they there for decoration, until they are one of the first killed in a horror flick, seen time and time again.

Thankfully, Black Panther showcases leaders, positivity, power and pride in African culture.

(Image provided by: Bryan Ward under creative commons licence)

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