Michelle Ortiz–Response to ‘Black Panther’ is Not the Movie We Deserve

Although I have never seen the movie ‘Black Panther,’ after reading this article by Christopher Lebron, this movie sounds very offensive. He describes how the movie can be misinterpreted as promoting black empowerment; however, instead it promotes “racist narratives” and the “devaluation of black American men.” This is so shocking to me because everyone I spoke to about this movie found it so empowering and often even yelled, proudly “Wakanda” or “Black Panther” as a symbol of great honor for the movie. Lebron clearly shows how in the movie, black American men are represented as drug dealers, dangerous people, gangsters, and selfish. Not only that, but in this movie black American men are depicted as constantly fighting and working against each other instead of working together. This is very stereotypical and racist. Often African Americans are portrayed as being violent which is not the case at all. Black men are very much capable of working together and it is a shame that a movie that was initially created to empower the black community fails to correctly portray them.

A  very significant quote that stood out to me was at the end of page five and continued on page six where Lebron states “Killmonger, however, will not appear in another movie. He does not get a second chance. His black life did not matter even in a world of flying cars and miracle medicine.” The fact that ‘Black Panther’ portrayed black lives in this manner is truly appalling. African Americans are constantly facing discrimination, racism, and brutality on a daily basis in the real world. I would expect that this movie would depict African Americans in a positive way and will show that black lives do matter but instead it showed the exact opposite. It showed that even in an imaginary world black lives do not matter, that violence is always the answers, and that black men are nothing but gangsters. This is horrible. It is insane how the existence of African Americans is continued to be hindered and now in this movie it is being used to sell movies. It seems like in today’s society mistreats  what is considered the “minority” for entertainment. This is not something black American men deserve. This movie is not something the black community deserves.

Comment ( 1 )

  1. Kayla Cason
    After reading your post, I have a better understanding of the message Christopher Lebron was trying to convey to his audience. Black Panther is supposed to be an edition to the decades long collection of black excellence films. It was supposed to evoke pride within African Americans and people of African decent and display a positive image of black people in the media; strong, intelligent, and powerful. However, in the eyes of Lebron, Black Panther adds to the numerous negative stereotypes against African Americans. Though I still see Black Panther as film that has fulfilled its goal, I understand Christopher Lebron's ideals and issues with the movie.

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