The Novice Niche: “Black Panther” Presents a New Movie Experience

A blog that will explore new experiences.


Story by Ashleigh Fields, News Correspondent

I have another first for you all. This weekend, I went to see Black Panther. The new all black cast superhero movie by Marvel. Let me tell you, it was amazing. The film left me speechless. It exceeded all of my expectations, which were for some reason extremely low. Seeing an all black cast is extremely rare. However, seeing an all black cast without a corny script and unamusing black jokes is unheard of.

During this movie, I can say I felt, almost completely color blind for the first time. This is the first time I have watched a movie and not noticed, “Hey there’s a white guy on the screen.” Or, “Hey, there goes the black stereotypical joke.” I was truly engaged in a movie completely about afro-futurism, which is a term I recently discovered on twitter, another first without an overwhelming feeling of afrocentrism or blackness.

Despite the name, Black Panther is about a distant Utopian society that is filled with an abundance of resources that have the capability to heal the world. The society in which they live is called Wakanda, which was classified as a third world country in Africa as a means to hide its resources from the other greedy and powerful nations in the world. The main character is called the Black Panther because of the powers he draws from his local tribe. His sister is in charge of the futuristic technology that thrives off a metal that only grows in Wakanda: vibranium.

The film offers a two sided perspective pertaining to the powers that Wakanda possesses. The first is to only use their powers when desperately needed in order to right the wrongs in the world. The other is to cause a mass revolution with the hopes that Wakanda will end up helping oppressed groups throughout the world. Each side is either supported by the protagonist or the antagonist which begs for a heated debate after watching the movie.

Whatever side you end up on, you can clearly see the extremely rare yet present positive light that is projected onto Africa. More often times than not, Africa is portrayed as a continent filled with ruin, children run militias, and corrupt government officials. However, this Marvel comic chooses to shed light on the nature rich side of the continent. Viewers are able to enjoy the picturesque scenes of the vast clear fields that resemble parts of Africa.

Altogether, this movie was astounding. Every second of the movie had me on the edge of my seat and the words I have written simply do not do it justice. From having a young black girl in charge of modern technology and in the STEM field, to having a completely bald army full of women who are basking in their beauty and strength, shows just how much the film completely annihilated any conventional labels placed on people. The directors and writers did not conform to the typical film African American actors are often featured in and for that I am beyond appreciative. It’s quite rare that little black children get to see themselves portrayed in this light. To be considered intelligent, beautiful, graceful and sympathetic is unusual, but Black Panther has completely captured the essence of all four of these words.Overall, my experience with black panther was amazing and definitely the first of many. I plan to see this movie over and over again.