“Black Panther” Is Not the Movie We Deserve Response – Jamirka De León

Christopher Lebron’s article provides an insight on the negative representation of Black men in the movie “Black Panther” that I was blind to before.  The article provides the information necessary to open reader’s eyes to the reality that black men are esoterically illustrated in the film industry.  Although difficult to recognize, Lebron goes in to speak about Killomonger specifically.  He says that, “Killmonger isn’t a hero or villain so much as a receptacle for tropes of inner-city gangsterism.”  He backs up his startling claim by describing that the movie only depicts Killomonger’s ravish impulses, his “evil” characteristics, and his starvation for revenge instead of focusing on the bigger picture and his primary goal: to use Wakanda’s resources to help against the mistreatment of Black American men.  This is a goal his father originally had before his own brother killed him on suspicions of treason.  Lebron’s criticism of the movie provides a completely different view: maybe Killomonger isn’t the enemy he’s put out to be and the rest of them are for refusing to help the people who are struggling; the people who look just like them, without the protection Wakanda provides they too would be facing unjust prejudice.  The article really makes you re-evaluate who the real villains are here.

At first the title of this article was startling to me because I strongly believed that there couldn’t possibly be something wrong with this movie, and yet I was proven wrong.  Lebron provides a medium so that the rest of society can see a message that most of us would be insusceptible to because these are not things we’ve gone through.  It was hard for me to place the particular strategies that Lebron uses in this piece to influence his viewers but his use of the movie’s details are what I found the most interesting.  I noticed how well detailed his analysis is and how he uses those facts to defend his stance.  I found one of the most interesting lines from Lebron’s piece to be: “T’Challa offers Wakanda’s technology to save Killmonger’s life—it has saved the white CIA agent earlier in the film. But Killmonger recalls his slave heritage and tells Panther he’d rather die than live in bondage.”  When I watched the film I had never captured the real meaning of Killomonger’s line and how it relates to history and the basis of the contradictory conflicts of this film.  Lebron strategically used details of the story that viewers might have simply brushed off.  His analysis brought to light an issue that is not predominantly talked about and that needs to be addressed in the film industry.

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Rachel De Leon
    I agree with your response towards the topic of the idea Chirstopher Lebron demonstrates about the movie "Black Panther" not being what you realized. I feel the same way because when I first heard other people talking about the movie I felt as if it is a Marvel movie, it can not be a racist movie, most people watched it or will watch it. While I was reading this article, my whole point of view towards the movie had changed from what I have already known previously about the movie, even if I have not particularly watched it. The information my friends provided to me when it came out and even to this day, had painted the complete opposite picture in my head.
  2. Kayla Cason
    I, as well, was taken by the title of the article. I was very confused and appalled by it and was eager to find out Christopher Lebron's critiques were on the film Black Panther. After reading the article, Lebron broaden the scope in which I view Black Panther. I better understand the grievances one might have with Ryan Coogler and the underlying messages within the film. The movie can be perceived as one that illustrates black men in negative light and promotes violence and misunderstanding within the black community. However, I still believe that Black Panther has a greater positive impact on the black culture than it does negatively. It displays an image of strong, intelligent, powerful, and beautiful people of black decent that is rarely portrayed in the manner done so by Black Panther.

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