“Black Panther” premiered on the 9th of March 2018 in mainland China and there were pomp and colour to the long-awaited and hyped Marvel superhero movie. Not being the first superhero movie with a black person being the main protagonist or is it being the hero, but it is Marvel’s first. This brought a lot of hype with views expecting a different setting and style.
In the past, many black actors have had major and minor roles in superhero movies but none of them has had this huge role of acting as the major superhero in a serious blockbuster. There has been Damon Wayans in the past who played Blankman in the movie “Blankman” which was more of a comedy. Others include Anthony Mackie Falcon in Avengers though not as the main superhero. Halle Berry as Storm” in X-men and Idris Alba as Heimdall in “Thor”.There was Will Smith who played Hancock too.
The major difference with Black Panther is the fact that it is unique with the majority of actors and the superhero being a person of African descent with the intellect and power which is iced with the zeal, integrity and moral compass to steer admiration across all racial divides. He is seen as a person with the unifying factors and intelligence to protect and develop a fictional African country with vast cultural diversity and abundant natural resources, though the country in question has never had any history with colonization.
This movie with a black superhero character will, therefore, change the ideas and perceptions of Asians especially the Chinese towards black people. There has been a lot of misconceptions and probably racism incidents towards black people in China especially of African descent. Most of them still have the thinking of Africa being a place ridden with war, diseases especially HIV/AIDS and drought living the occupants helpless and with no future. Black men have also been seen to be violent and good for nothing. This movie is, therefore, a game changer in all these. There was a movie by Wu Jing in the year 2017, ” Wolf Warrior 2″ where the Chinese are seen to play a major role as rescue teams in a war-ravaged African nation and this later gave him Accolades and Chinese are seen as new saviours of Africa. Black Panther is in the school of thought that Africans are saviours of themselves and need to come together to do that, unlike other superhero movies where the main character plays a lone wolf sort of thing with one or two sidekicks.
There has been racial segregation towards the black people who are thoroughly screened for jobs in China mainland, with most of the teaching jobs advertising for white people or “Native Speakers”. For those who are lucky enough to get these jobs are paid half what their white counterparts are paid for. There have been other incidences where people fear to sit next to on a black person in a subway or a bus. Not to mention numerous advertisements that clearly show that white colour is more beautiful than black. It may sound weird but most people will want to touch your skin or even suggest some beauty products with the idea that your black skin has some dirt or needs to be cleansed. A weird way of thinking of course.
As the movie premiered there have been endless discussions with how the black superhero was able to handle his character with a lot of professionalisms and was hailed both with the Black people and other races which shows that the movie will be able to showcase people who have been segregated in the past.
You can continue with the discussion on our comment section and let us know what you think about “Black Panther” the movie and what it means to you and the black people and what you think is going to raise as we all gear towards a world with equality among all the races.