I was gifted access to this pre-screening and am sharing 5 Things Black Families Loved About Black Panther because the movie was just so amazing. All opinions are mine.
By now everyone who was waiting to see Marvel Studios Black Panther has gone to see it multiple times. This movie was just that good. It wasn’t good because it was a movie, but because it was a movement. It was symbolic shift in the culture and perception of Black people in Hollywood.
We went to a pre-screening of Black Panther a few days before the official release. We drove two hours from South Carolina to Charlotte, North Carolina excited to be some of the first to see the movie. When we arrived at the theater, the line was wrapped around the foyer, people were standing, sitting and I could tell they’d been waiting for a while.
We arrived 30 minutes early and we’d arrived 45 minutes ahead of time and still there was a line. Minutes after arriving, they staff began letting people into the theater and I was worried we wouldn’t get a seat. Once I found my contact person, we were actually escorted to the front of the line and there were VIP seats marked off for us in the theater. The seats were dead center and a few rows below the top rows of the theater. That’s the sweet spot so I was so honored to be an invited guest.
We saw the movie on February 12th, my birthday and I don’t typically spend my birthday with my kids, but I knew seeing this movie would either exceed my expectations or make me regret my decision to drive four hours both ways on my birthday. By the first 15 minutes of the movie, the results were in. I knew I’d made the right decision by making my birthday a family experience out to see Black Panther.
I don’t speak for the every black family, but from a majority of the ones I’ve heard from here are 10 Things Black Families Loved About Black Panther.
1. Black character was represented in a realistic light.
The characters portrayed demonstrated both good and bad characteristics. What was portrayed more accurately demonstrated the black experience. Many movies portray black people as mostly bad and destructive when in fact that’s a small number of our people. To see us portrayed accurately on the big screen made me happy. It made me happy to have my children see experiences and characteristics that demonstrated the black people they know, versus the ones Hollywood has portrayed in other movies.
2. Tighter coiled natural hair was displayed beautifully.
This is huge! Black girls with tighter coils all over America have struggled with accepting their hair texture because it typically isn’t reflected in media. To see such a beautiful demonstration of the tighter coiled hair texture on the big screen was epic. To see women with bantu knots, afros, twists outs, locs and shaved heads who were amazingly gorgeous was exciting and I hope to see more of it.
3. Black skin is beautiful.
I grew up being called names because I was dark. It bothered me a little, but my parents did an amazing job of educating me about my Black and African culture. I’d been told stories of Africa and knew the names of African Kings and Queens. I knew Black and African people were black, brown and tan. I also knew that was an amazing characteristic that protected up from the suns rays and allowed Black people to survive the heat on the African continent. Often time in Hollywood, darker women aren’t represented, so to see a movie filled with chocolate beauties was a huge improvement in movies.
4. Black women are strong, feminine and submitted. Not one or the other.
There are so many amazing symbolism in this movie that I can’t pick a favorite, but this one is high up on my list. In America I tend to feel this press to be either or. I feel this pressure that implies if you are a strong black women, you’re a hood rat, loud, outspoken, and aggressive, but that is so far from the truth. On the other hand women tend to down another woman if she submits to a man. It’s madness. What I teach my daughters is to be a well balanced woman means you balance all three of these characteristics. I teach them, from my life, that there is a time to be strong, always be feminine and know when to submit or fall back. In Black Panther we saw a combination of this. My favorite scene was when Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) told Okoye (Danai Gurira) to flee with her after Erik Killmonger (Micheal B. Jordan) became king. At that time Nakia decided not to submit, but to rely on her strength to save the people she loved. Okoye on the other hand leaned more on her commitment to the thrown and chose to submit at that moment. Each women made a decision to draw from the array of strengths throughout the movie to bring about the best outcomes for the people that loved. This was wonderfully demonstrated all though out the movie.
5. Black men are Kings.
This right here is everything. My kids know that my husband is the head of the household and like T’Challa a great modern day ruler of his kingdom. In Black Panther, the leadership role was portrayed with perfection. The role was portrayed just the way many black women yearn for it to be portrayed in their personal lives. Who doesn’t want men around them, especially a husband who has the leadership characteristics of King T’Challa and the other male leaders in the movie? None of the men were made to look like they were perfect, but they all demonstrated realistic leadership qualities even when at times they didn’t make the best decision. For example, a lack of judgement was demonstrated when King T’Chaka decided to leave Erik Killmonger behind. Just like T’Chaka our men don’t always make the right decisions, but when they are good leaders who fall short we support them.
I truly could go on about other things we loved about the movie from the locations to the wardrobe, but you get the picture. Black Panther for me goes down in the books as a classic where Hollywood got black people right. This portrayal was a breath of fresh air because I seriously felt like I was suffocating under the previous movie portrayals of black people. I was at a point where I wouldn’t watch movies that did not portray diversity in their choice of black people and their character. I am so over Hollywood creating movies where primarily the most negative aspects of