Kayla Cason – “‘Black Panther’ is Not the Movie We Deserve
“‘Black Panther’ is Not the Movie We Deserve” by Christopher Lebron emphasizes several important and overlooked messages within the blockbuster Marvel film Black Panther. Lebron discusses how the portrayal of Black Panther antagonist Erik Killmonger mocks the integrity of the Black Lives Matter movement in America. He states that Ryan Coogler’s decision to kill Killmonger communicated the invalidity of black lives as they fight for political change; that his death was the embodiment of silenced black voices when they have fought for their freedom. Though Lebron makes some very power observations, I believe that his interpretations of Black Panther disregard and overlook the numerous positive impacts the film has had on the black community. It’s portrayal of a majority black cast conveying strong, and intelligent leaders is tremendously impacts African American people. Young black children are now able to see themselves in a manner that conveys the true strength of the African American community. Their role models are no longer thugs, single parents, or struggling members of society, but strong, intelligent and powerful leaders of our world. This simple shift in what version of black culture is portrayed in media significantly impacts black audiences, motivating them to defy stereotypes such as the ones mentioned by Lebron. Despite Killmongers’ character being the embodiment of millions of lost inner-city black men, his strength and dedication to his people depicts an important message for young viewers. Regardless of the adversities one has faced, it is vital that they grow from the challenges they have endured and develop into someone with ambitions and goals for their future. Though Killmongers’ path in life was extremely radical, he is a depiction of an inner city black man who has fought for his beliefs and for his people instead of falling victim to the lure of the streets. Christopher Lebron’s ideals are vital to discuss in our society, but the lack of recognition of Black Panther’s positive impact on black culture is unjust.