Saturday Open Thread | Black Panther is a gorgeous, groundbreaking celebration of black culture

Marvel’s Black Panther is a cultural phenomenon, a historic box office success that’s brought in rave reviews and sparked conversation all over social media and traditional media alike. There are no signs of the excitement abating, either, as the conversation about the film has evolved from discussions about the importance of representation into something grander: a rather groundbreaking celebration of black culture.

With an all-star collection of majority black talent both in front of and behind the camera, Black Panther, under the direction of Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed), is about more than the latest superhero’s journey; it’s also about black culture’s journey, and it points toward a future where it could be the culture. It acknowledges and celebrates everything from traditional African society to African-American political debates, from the power and beauty of black women to the preservation of identity, all within the lush confines of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.

All told, Black Panther’s greatest legacy may not be what it’s done for Marvel, Hollywood, or box office records, but what it’s done for the culture. In Wakanda, which offers much to marvel at for audiences of all backgrounds, black viewers in particular have found a cultural oasis that feels like nothing we’ve seen before.

Black Panther celebrates black culture on several fronts
Black Panther is in many ways a love letter to black culture. Africa has traditionally been an unsophisticated bit player in American media, often portrayed as backward, savage, and chaotic in everything from news coverage to films. It’s a portrayal that has left little room for other interpretations, which is why Black Panther’s vision of Wakanda as a bustling metropolis of vibranium-powered futuristic skyscrapers, racing trains, and soaring spaceships feels so refreshing.

Marvel movies often take place in grand, imaginative locales, like Thor’s Asgard or Guardians of the Galaxy’s far-flung planets. But nothing has been quite as audacious and poignant as Wakanda, a vision of Africa that feels indebted to both Jack Kirby and Octavia Butler, home to a thriving black population that represents our collective ingenuity and beauty. As a testament to black empowerment, Black Panther is an important artifact, but it’s also, quite simply, a big draw for black moviegoers starved for this sort of vision.

It’s not just Wakanda’s skyline that makes an impact, though; the film drew on a team of designers and stylists to showcase a very specific, beautiful black aesthetic. In an interview with the New York Times, Camille Friend, who oversaw the various hair designs of what she calls “a totally Afrocentric, natural hair movie,” said the entire production was considered against a backdrop of a bigger black cultural moment: “We’re in a moment when people are feeling empowered about being black,” she says. “The hair helps communicate that.”

Like the film’s hair, Black Panther’s costuming was an opportunity to infuse meaning and pride into the movie. As the film’s head costume designer, Ruth Carter, shared with NPR, the costumes, like Wakanda itself, needed to evoke a place and people that had “never been colonized, one that looked toward the future but was based on a real past.”

About SouthernGirl2

A Native Texan who adores baby kittens, loves horses, rodeos, pomegranates, & collect Eagles. Enjoys politics, games shows, & dancing to all types of music. Loves discussing and learning about different cultures. A Phi Theta Kappa lifetime member with a passion for Social & Civil Justice.
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97 Responses to Saturday Open Thread | Black Panther is a gorgeous, groundbreaking celebration of black culture

  1. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “14 References You Probably Missed While Watching “Black Panther” For The First Time”

  2. BLACK PANTHER Sibling Rivalry

  3. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    Twitter #BlackPantherFanArt hashtag has some great art by fans.

  4. rikyrah says:

    Black Florida woman receives lynching threat from ‘Whites 4 Trump’ after argument about Parkland
    24 FEB 2018 AT 09:02 ET

    Law enforcement in Florida are investigating an incident of workplace racism by a supporter of President Donald Trump, WTSP reported Saturday.

    Terri Silar, who is black, said it started earlier this week when several co-workers were discussing gun control and President Trump in the wake of the Parking shooting massacre.

    The next day, she found a monkey stuffed animal with a noose around its neck hanging from her office chair.

    There was a racist note attached to the monkey.
    “You are getting deported back to Africa n****r and that will make America great again,” the note read.

    The threat was signed, “Whites 4 Trump.”
    A note on her monitor read, “n****r b*tch.”

    “I was shocked, but most of all I was hurt,” Silar told WTSP.
    “I felt threatened. I didn’t feel safe. For someone to be that bold. That is a blatant boldness and a hate crime,” Silar explained. “It is a monkey with a noose around its neck. What message do you think I’m going to take from that?”

  5. rikyrah says:

    ‘Get these ni****rs on the bus!”: Wisconsin high school accused of chanting racist insults during basketball game
    24 FEB 2018 AT 15:23 ET

    For the second time in a month, a Wisconsin high school is being protested for racism directed at students of color.

    According to the report, students from Horlick High School in Racine had traveled to Franklin, Wisconsin for a basketball game Friday night and were greeted with abusive chants during the game.

    “I felt so disrespected out of what they had done,” Horlick varsity basketball player Stephon Chapmon explained. “As I was shooting, they started making the monkey noises and it like threw me like completely off.”

    “We all felt disrespected,” his teammate, Marquise Milton, added.

    “On our way to get on the bus, they were like ‘get these ni****rs on the bus,’ and we were like ‘what?’ And he was like, ‘you all heard me, get on the bus.’”

  6. Ametia says:


    Mona be like

  7. vitaminlover says:

    Southern, did you gain any more insight on your second viewing?


  9. Lupita Nyong’o – Why “Black Panther” Is a Different Kind of Superhero Movie

  10. Black Panther rescued the Chibok girls in Sambisa forest…..

  11. Ametia says:
  12. Ametia says:

    Black Panther showed how T’Challa SHARED the wealth & KNOWLEDGE of Wakanda vs thieves ascending upon it to pillage, steal, etc.

  13. Ametia says:
  14. Ametia says:
    • Ametia says:

      Let’s hold out that David Hogg’s future journalism skills don’t get TAINTED.

      Because God only knows what folks are learning in journalism schools, colleges, etc.

  15. Ametia says:


  16. Ametia says:


  17. Ametia says:
  18. Ametia says:

    Delta and United cut ties with the NRA

    Delta Air Lines announced Saturday that it’s ending discounted rates for NRA members.

    United Airlines followed a short time later, saying the company will no longer offer discounts on flights to the NRA annual meeting.

    The two major airlines join a growing list of companies that have ended their partnerships with the National Rifle Association in recent days.

  19. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Twelve states bar felons from voting even after they have completed their sentences. In Florida, more than 10 percent of the voting-age population is stripped of a voice at the polls, according to a 2016 report from the Sentencing Project. Other states, like Mississippi and Kentucky, aren’t far behind.”

  20. yahtzeebutterfly says:

    “Budget Cuts Are Putting More Kids in Foster Care”


    House Speaker Paul Ryan has spent the past month trying to convince his fellow congressional Republicans to add cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs to this year’s legislative agenda. It’s been his dream for decades, and a central part of a far-right policy agenda he unveiled in 2016.

    Ryan’s 2016 agenda—which he says is still his template for benefit cuts—uses Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF or “temporary assistance,” which replaced Aid to Families with Dependent Children in 1996) as a success story and model for future cuts. But evidence is mounting that a growing number of states are outright failures when it comes to meeting the first purpose of temporary assistance: providing assistance to families so that children “can be cared for in their own homes” instead of in foster care or institutions.

    The number of children in foster care now exceeds the number of children being cared for at home with the support of temporary assistance in at least seven states: Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, North Dakota, and Wyoming.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Thank you so much for highlighting Black Panther this week. It has been a joy to read these posts.😄


  22. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning Everyone 😄😄😄

  23. Legend Has It. Run The Jewels (Black Panther Trailer Music)

  24. Black Panther | Full Album Soundtrack

  25. Good morning, everyone.

    I can’t wait until Black Panther comes out on DVD. It’s too good!

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