First of all, if you have not seen “Black Panther” yet, I do not know what you are waiting for, because that is one of the best works of art I have ever seen. “Black Panther” did not disappoint. The visuals, actors, story and main messages were all spectacular. As a black person who is African, this movie was a very historical and emotional one to watch. This is the first time that young black children will go to watch a superhero movie and see superheroes who look like them. A young black boy will grow up, knowing that there is a superhero he can directly relate to. A little black girl somewhere around the world will leave the movie theater inspired by the powerful women protecting Wakanda.
I know that a lot of white people might not understand the hype behind this movie, but this experience is one of many that black people cannot explain to anyone. I saw videos of black people in America, Nigeria, Ghana and many other countries coming out to show full support for this movie and I said to myself, “It’s about time.” For once it was not about who was black enough; it was more about all being black and proud. As I watched the movie, I could not contain my excitement because in this imaginary world of Wakanda, I could still see my home country of Nigeria. I could still see the happy Africa that the media does not often show. I listened to the music and it reminded me of how our culture and lifestyle is always full of life. I saw the female soldiers who protected the kingdom and how the king was surrounded by strong women, and it reminded me of how strong black women have been and will always continue to be. No one realizes it, but the black woman is one of the strongest beings I have ever met. And before anyone starts saying, “But all women are strong,” I am talking about the women I know and have seen—but the world never sees their strengths.
The actors did an awesome job in every aspect, and the subtle messages such as the struggle for identity among non-African blacks were some of my highlights of the movie. I would love to go into detail, but then I would end up spoiling the movie. One of my favorite lines in the movie was, “When I die, throw me in the ocean just like some of my ancestors who knew that death was better than bondage.” This hit me to the core, because no one ever talks of the brave people who were stolen from their homes and stripped of their human identities and had to choose their freedom by dying or becoming slaves. “Black Panther” reminded us of what Africa could have become if it was not stripped of its identity, resources, and humanity. People were taken away, colonial masters stole from the land, and the African identity was seen as archaic. oday the descendants of these people turn around to say Africa is a third world continent. News flash—invaders made Africa the way it is now. Our ancient languages, ways of life, medicine, heritage, music and food are what make Africa home and many of us are proud of that.
P.S., there are people walking around who think that for Africa to progress we need to be more Western. I am here to tell you that the world does not revolve around you and your ideas of what perfection and advancement is. Maybe, just maybe, we would have been better off without Westernization and invaders, but now we will never know.