HOLY SHIT, Y’ALL.
So I saw Black Panther last night. My reactions, in no particular order:
– It was visually stunning. Literally. I was stunned at the visuals.
– The story held up the whole way through. I can count one specific occasion that made me go “eh,” and it in no way interfered with its effectiveness as a conceptually striking movie.
– The action sequences were so, so cool. If you’ve seen it, you know the one with the car? That one? Damn.
– Never has there been a greater concentration of staggeringly beautiful people in a two-hour period. It’s enough to give a girl a complex.
– Never has there been a greater concentration of unapologetically strong women — by the women themselves, the movie as a whole, or Wakandan culture — demonstrating all different manifestations of strength. It’s enough to inspire a girl to… absolutely anything.
Other, more pertinent, more articulate reactions:
Sesali Bowen, Refinery 29, Black Panther Has A Message For Black Men: Trust Black Women:
In no way does Black Panther downplay the role that Black men play in Black communities. T’Challa is faced with impossible decisions that test his own morality in addition to his fealty to Wakanda and Black people everywhere. It is male warriors from an isolated Wakandan tribe that act as reinforcements at a vital moment in the story. But the film actively rejects the notion that the participation/existence of Black men in the “good fight” negates the vital necessity of Black women. Similarly, the route towards realizing our maximum potential and freedom in the real world does not require a toll of reverting back towards romanticized ideas about Black male supremacy. In this fight, Black women are the equals of Black men and should be treated as such.
Damon Young, The Root, Yet Another Reason Why Shuri From Black Panther Is The Greatest Disney Princess Ever: This one is spoiler-laden, so I’m not going to post a quote here.
Taryn Finley, Huffington Post, Danai Gurira: The Dora Milaje Reflect Real Black Women, Except They’re Respected”: Also quite spoilery.
Tre Johnson, Rolling Stone, Black Superheroes Matter: Why a ‘Black Panther’ Movie Is Revolutionary:
Coogler has set out to do something with the modern black superhero that all previous iterations have fallen short of doing: making it respectable, imaginative and powerful. The Afro-punk and Afrofuturism aesthetics, the unapologetic black swagger, the miniscule appearances from non-black characters — it’s an important resetting of a standard of what’s possible around creating a mythology for a black superhero. The trailers point to a new direction for depicting not only black superheroes, but also how we imagine our heroes. He’s not being played for laughs. He’s not a sidekick or born out of dire circumstances. His story, one of an ingrained birthright, legacy and royalty is a stark difference for how we tend to treat most black superheroes — and black superhero movies.
Luvvie Ajayi, Awesomely Luvvie, On Wakanda: My Black Panther Review: Also with the spoilers, but also with the commentary of the clothes, the men, the women, the depiction of Wakanda, the conflict, the… everything.
A lot of other reactions on Twitter with the hashtag #WhatBlackPantherMeanstoMe (and an interview with the woman who started it).
Your reactions? Seen it? Haven’t seen it? (If you’re posting spoilers, please set them off with spoiler tags — (spoiler) and (/spoiler), except with square brackets instead of parentheses. XOXO, Mgmt.)