(image credit: Marvel)

Let me just start off by say­ing: you know it was a good movie when people clap and holler all throughout the film.

It is near impossible to be bored while watching T’Challa, King of Wakanda strive to pro­tect his land. Killmonger, the film’s main villain plays a key role for both plot, but also rep­resentation and what it means to truly struggle.

Every moment of “Black Panther” is captivating for the suspense, action or humor; all of which work together to cre­ate Wakanda, its people and its traditions. The vibrant colors, costuming and minute details create an intricate, intriguing, highly advanced society within a real and thriving culture that was amazingly represented in the film.

But the vibrant colors of Wakanda were not the ones shining through. The all-black cast was an empowering as­pect of the film on its own. It was a superhero movie rightly flipped with one or two Cau­casian characters and power­ful actors of color all around them.

“Black Panther” is a step­ping stone toward better rep­resentation in western media, and a very solid one by both the film’s ratings and box of­fice status. SNHU student Jas­mine Tyrance, who is African American, felt proud about a “majority of the cast (being) black and them being por­trayed in a positive spotlight with various strong characters, including KIllmonger, even as a very strong and complex vil­lain.”

Along with the film’s mark of strong characters of color, it also carries strong women as well. Women warriors proved their strength time and time again in the film, fighting alongside each while also dem­onstrating their ability to rule and affect social change.

Women involved in tech­nology were also represented. The non-sexualization of these characters was defining of the film as well, as they carried strength without having to pair it with anything stereotypically “feminine.”

Themes of suffering and the internal struggle both on the individual and community level were at play as well. They brought to light some of the suffering of African Ameri­cans, and as Jasmine Tyrance states, “police brutality and kind of some of the racism to­ward blacks even today.”

“Black Panther” had equal­ity and representation within every shot. “Black Panther” truly has asked us, the peo­ple, what it is that we can do to make the struggle African Americans experience better.

With both African and Af­rican American actors, strong warrior women, women in technology and powerful well-rounded characters, no matter your background it is possible to relate to, and learn from, this stepping stone film. This movie alone is a call to action for all of us to make a change no matter how small.

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