On Wakanda: My Black Panther Evaluate

27 min


Black Panther.


This film has taken over the world! It’s been most likely the largest popular culture second within the final decade, and essentially the most extremely anticipated movie in an extended whereas. It’s lastly right here, and it has lived as much as each piece of hype it has gotten. I’ve seen it twice up to now, and can see it once more. However I’ve been speaking about it nonstop. It was laborious to determine the place to start out with this evaluate, as a result of left to my very own gadgets, I’d simply drop a YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS gif and stroll away. There’s a lot to debate about this movie, and so much to unpack, so let’s do it by sections, beginning with the details, and making my option to the feels.


Okay I warned you.

The Historical past-Making Marvel (you see what I did there)

Black Panther has shattered data and made historical past a number of instances over. It’s been one in every of Marvel’s most costly movies so far, and undoubtedly the costliest first movie in a franchise, and that’s saying so much!

And the numbers are in. It has made $404 million worldwide, with $235 million of that earned in the USA. It’s made extra money than every other Marvel film in its opening weekend. It’s the best opening EVER for a movie launched in February. INSANE. However shocking? No. We been tryna inform of us that movies starring Black folks, written by Black folks and about Black folks might be worthwhile. Black Panther is a big “fuck you” to anybody who thought in any other case.

The Diasporic Variety

Directed by Ryan Coogler, and that includes an all-star lineup of Black Hollywood, this film has given us one thing to sit up for. This Black ass movie even exhibits range inside the diaspora. Chadwick Bozeman (T’Challa), Michael B. Jordan (Killmonger), Angela Bassett (Queen Mom) and Forest Whitaker (Zuri) are from the USA. Danai Gurira (Okoye) is from Zimbabwe. Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia) is Kenyan, born in Mexico. Letitia Wright (Shuri) is Guyanese. Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi) is English and Ugandan. Florence Kasumba (Ayo) is Ugandan-German. Winston Duke (M’Baku) is from Trinidad and Tobago. COME THRU, DIASPORIC REPRESENTATION!!!

We aren’t a monolith, and even after we’re all from totally different locations, our melanin unites us. We nonetheless look and act and discuss like kinfolk. Talking of melanin…

The Fantastic thing about the Movie

I’ve watched plenty of Marvel movies, though I’m not a deep geek who can cite origin tales. I gotta say that Black Panther, is essentially the most visually stunning movie they’ve had. This isn’t a world that exists in some monochromatic area planet. The world of Wakanda is filled with shade in each single approach and it jumps off the display screen and makes your pupils do the wop.

The primary scene at Warrior Falls, the place all of the tribes are standing on the fringe of the cliff, singing and swaying, took my breath away for a second.

Warrior Falls

The colours, the motion, the depth, the vibrancy. I used to be mesmerized. I bought all misty-eyed. My goodness. It was artwork. It was only a feast for my eyes.

Plus, the way in which they honor the melanin of the characters. Holy shit. The lighting had me distracted as I misplaced myself in all of the Noir Pixie Dust I used to be being offered with. You may take it as a right till you watch different movies and notice how flat they’ve us trying typically, as a result of cinematographers have solely perfected the artwork of lighting white of us. Black Panther? SHID. They bought the true MVPs. I needed to inform myself to focus a few instances after they did closeups of Lupita. MADAME, WHICH KIN’ VOODOO IS THIS YOU’RE DOING WITH THIS FLAWLESS SKIN OF YOURS!!! Chei! Pores and skin simply without end unable to flaw, and her melanin magic was on 10. Daniel Kaluuya was up there shining. Danai trying like her undertones are fabricated from gold. I used to be like “I want everybody’s regimens post-haste!” And might somebody please inform Auntie Angela Bassett to cease killing unicorns and bathing of their tears??? It’s not even honest to be nearly 60 and seem like that.

Angela Bassett Queen Mother Black Panther

This entire solid simply FAHNER than break up frog hair. Gahtdamb. They mirrored how stunning chocolate is, and a bit of black woman or a bit of black boy might be like “I seem like them and it’s completely nice and I’m stunning identical to I’m.”

A feast for my eyes, salve for my soul, and balm for my spirit to see.

The Costumes

BRUH!!! The costumes on this movie gave me all of the life I wanted! Properly-researched, and exhibiting influences from your entire continent. Ruth Carter and her costume designing crew reached throughout the continent to make these characters’ garments their very own characters.

The blankets worn by W’Kabu’s individuals are BaSotho blankets from South Africa. The Nigerian in me was GAGGING once I noticed Zuri sporting an agbada, which is conventional Yoruba put on. And all these embroidered kaftans that T’Challa had? I used to be calling my tailor like “sooo I want one in my dimension.” However the BEST factor he wore? That kente gown in direction of the tip. My Ghanaian of us must be swelling with satisfaction as a result of he did it justice.

Tchalla Kente


The fiercest costume needed to be the Dora Milaje ones, although. That pink leather-based with gold shields and armor, tailor-made to the GAWDS and saying “I’m unfuckwitable” even earlier than they spoke was what I wanted in my life! I’m fairly certain for Halloween I’m going as a Dora Milaje, shaved head and all. It complemented them, was practical, with out sexualizing them.

Dora Milaje

My Queens!

SO GOOD! I wanna go purchase tight leather-based now so I can put on it into conferences. Anywho, that takes me into why I actually liked this movie.

The Superpower of the Girls

Black Panther did its’ girls justice, and that was one of many issues I appreciated most within the movie. The reverence for girls on this movie made me cry. It’s such a distinction from how girls are usually portrayed. We’re the “Princess” who Mario wants to save lots of usually, however on this movie the ladies are those doing the saving, coming to the rescue a number of instances. Black Panther wasn’t the one one with superpowers, as the ladies he surrounded himself with had their very own.

The neatest particular person within the movie occurs is a girl. Princess Shuri’s superpower is her mind, and seeing how assured she was in how a lot she is aware of her shit made my geeky coronary heart nicely.

Princess Shuri Black Panther

Probably the most technologically superior nation on the planet has a Chief Tech Officer who’s a woman. I WANT TO GO TO THERE. She put spines again collectively in 24 hours, made footwear that gave off no sound, and created a swimsuit that makes use of any pressure that has been despatched in direction of it, as power to battle. IF THAT AIN’T WHAT BLACK FOLKS BEEN DOING SINCE FOREVER!!! That was poetic in itself. Shuri’s a genius, and by no means was she advised to point out receipts as a result of she’s a woman. Her intelligence was not simply accepted, it however allowed her the authority to be in that place.

My favourite character within the film could be Okoye, the overall of the Dora Milaje warrior girls. She’s such a fierce human, who’s principled and powerful and filled with integrity. She instructions respect the second you see her, and he or she’s an astute strategist who T’Challa listens to and trusts. Her superpower is her brawn, however she’s nonetheless tender and heat.

Okoye Black Panther 4

She has a person she loves (W’Kabi). Nonetheless, she gained’t put it over her responsibility. THAT in itself, makes her a revolutionary character. Girls are normally written to be love loopy and can die for that. Nah, she’d die for her nation. That’s all. My favourite scene is the one the place she stands in entrance of M’Baku as W’Kabi (using a rhino) expenses him. The rhino stops proper in entrance of her and licks her face. BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT’S HIS MASTER’S BOO. And when she pulls her spear on her W’Kabi, and he asks if she’d kill him, she says “For Wakanda? With out query.” And he drops his weapon and will get on his knee. THAT was the sexiest factor in the entire movie. That second, when the person who liked this lady dropped his weapon for her. Chile, that scene may need gotten me ovulating. I would like it as a poster in my workplace. FALL ON YOUR KNEES FOR MY LOVE SO I KNOW IT’S REAL.

And naturally, there’s Nakia. As a spy, she’s purported to be an actual G who strikes in silence, however she was so essential. She might be simply ignored, however she was actually essential to Wakanda turning the nook. From the start, she was saving folks. The primary particular person was the child who had been kidnapped to battle with Boko Haram in Nigeria. As Black Panther rolled via killing all of the troopers, she unmasked the boy to point out he was solely a child. Her superpower is her coronary heart and love for folks.

Nakia Black Panther

She finally ends up saving the Queen and Shuri. Her fast pondering in grabbing a heart-shaped herb earlier than they have been burned (on N’Jadaka’s command) in the end saved T’Challa, bringing him again from the ancestral realm. Her most important mission from leap was to get Wakanda to make use of its sources to assist Black folks everywhere in the world, and he or she was a spy as a result of she refused to take a seat down as her nation locked its doorways. I believe Nakia was the conscience of this movie, and humorous sufficient, she and Killmonger wished the identical factor. They only had fully totally different approaches. As folks hail him, she deserves the love too.

All through this movie, T’Challa was surrounded by girls and he leans on them always and trusts them implicitly. His mom, Ramonda, his sister, Shuri, his love, Nakia, and his protector, Okoye. These girls matter to him, and so they performed a component in his selections. How these girls have been responded to by the lads gave me feels. They have been liked and cherished and revered. And the truth that THAT made them revolutionary is definitely fairly unhappy. It was additionally heartening to see, as a result of I believe they’re the explanation T’Challa’s bravado isn’t at poisonous masculinity ranges. Associated…

The Tenderness of the Males

I appreciated how the lads on this movie have been allowed tenderness when it mattered. T’Challa is totally different from plenty of superheroes I’ve watched on display screen. He isn’t simply surrounded by one lady, who he solely cares about as a result of he desires to bone her. The person has as many ladies round him as males. On his mission to South Korea, who’d he have? He declined W’Kabi’s request to come back, taking Nakia and Okoye as an alternative. And Shuri was at house giving them directions.

Black Panther’s causes for not waging battle additionally felt like he wished to verify he wasn’t taking lives needlessly. He had the prospect to kill M’Baku. He had the prospect to kill Klaue. Like his father advised him, “You’re a good man, with a very good coronary heart. And it’s laborious for a very good man to be a king.”

T'Challa Ancestral

Extra importantly, we bought to see him cry and be weak, and we don’t get to see Black males cry typically in movie and TV. They’re normally proven as these tremendous aggressive, flat, non-complex beings, and this movie had so many complicated males. Even Killmonger confirmed some daint, as he was raging out. On the coronary heart of him is a bit of boy whose world bought taken away and he yearns for what might have been. Extra on that later. Even he cried, when within the ancestral realm, dealing with his father.

Even M’Baku, my favourite vagabond. After he did plenty of grunting, he confirmed some coronary heart when he earnestly promised T’Challa that he’ll defend his mom and no hurt would come to her, as he tried to save lots of the dominion from Killmonger. I used to be like “aawwww take a look at this lovely idiot.”

The Portrayal of Africa as Its Personal Superpower

From the get go, what folks have been actually excited to see was Wakanda. A part of the explanation Black Panther is interesting is as a result of right here’s this superhero, who’s from a rustic that’s extra technologically superior than every other. And that nation is in Africa. The vibranium in Wakanda made it a strong place, and this story is one we don’t see typically. WHATTT?? Africa is greater than tin huts and flies? Properly shut my mouth large open!

As an African myself, the irritation about how the continent is portrayed is at all times on the floor for me. Once I got here to the USA at 9, I realized that the place I’m from was thought of undeveloped and archaic. It was information to me!

This movie confirmed Wakanda as a spot of innovation so past others’ understanding that it appeared they defied physics with what they have been making occur. The man who’s American couldn’t even fathom it, as a result of if was past what he thought was potential. It’s best to see how my head swelled. That is no Zamunda.

Wakanda Black Panther 2


I take into consideration how this movie can change the way in which little African children can see themselves. I bear in mind coming to the US and my accent was totally different and my title was totally different and the meals I ate was totally different and it “othered” me instantly. I used to be requested if I’d ever seen electrical energy, and if wore garments, and it irritated me to no finish. However I realized easy methods to discuss like my classmates by listening to them and mimicking how they have been talking and by highschool I had misplaced most of my accent.

Watching this movie, the factor that hit me is that there’s a bit of 9 yr previous African woman that’s going to come back to the USA, and he or she gained’t really feel like she has to vary the way in which she talks as a result of it makes her too totally different. There’s going to be a bit of seven yr previous African boy who might be like “Yea I can inform these children what my title means as a result of it’s not so international that they’re going to make enjoyable of it.” That’s highly effective. That’s the form of stuff that may change a technology as a result of for lots of us that got here after we have been youthful, we spent half our time making an attempt to cover who we have been. I’m trying ahead to the ripple impact that it has in children and the way it makes them change the way in which they assume the world is feasible.

The Humor

On prime of all this, Black Panther has the nerve to be humorous. The 2 funniest folks within the movie? Princess Shuri and M’Baku.

I LOVE me some Princess Shuri, and the way she’s principally the epitome of little sister who lives to harass her older brother. On the identical time, she’s this bawse ass techie you may’t ignore. She had the most effective strains of the movie. From her roasting T’Challa’s new footwear “What are THOSE?!?” to letting the white man know he must announce himself higher. “Don’t scare me like that, colonizer.” Shuri is the Disney Princess all of us want. She’s confident, tremendous good and shady AF.

The opposite one who had me cracking up was M’Baku, chief of the Jabari males. From the primary time we noticed him, he was filled with shenanigans.

MBaku Black Panther

However once I actually fell in love with him was when he interrupted a pleasant, sappy second by asking them annoyingly “Are you accomplished?” I HOLLERED! I used to be like “this can be a appropriate pesin.” After which I spotted he was clearly a Nigerian. The Jabari Tribe have to be Nigerian. Why? “Are you accomplished?” is traditional Naija. Additionally, they’re impolite AF, discuss mad shit, and wish to face their entrance in battle. Plus, they’ll’t be on time for shit. They aren’t those who will present up as an occasion begins. M’Baku and his squad gon roll in if you begin folding chairs, with their takeaway containers. I do know my folks once I see us.

Chei! M’Baku is a bombastic goat and I like him a lot. When the white man spoke, and he hit him with the “Yet another phrase and I’ll feed you to my youngsters. I’m kidding, we’re vegetarians.” I cackled so loudly! That brings me to…

The Fringeness of Whiteness

This movie centered Blackness in all methods, and made whiteness the foreigner. There’s Klaue, who’s the epitome of white greed. They discover out what we now have, and so they assume they’re entitled to it so that they steal it with out consequence to them. That fuckass stole Vibranium, after which advised Killmonger that the “savages” didn’t deserve it. THEY DIDN’T DESERVE WHAT WAS THEIRS? Die painfully and gruesomely. I used to be mad that he died with only a gunshot wound. I wished his fingers and toes to be lower off on some Sport of Thrones shit.

Agent Ross, the CIA dude who ended up in Wakanda. I like how he was handled like a nuisance your entire time. The one purpose he even ended up there was as a result of he did save Nakia’s life. In any other case, they woulda left him to die. They certainly ain’t save nobody else in that gun shot. Even so, the Wakandas regarded him as a international object of their midst. They barked when he didn’t face his entrance (shoutout to M’Baku), referred to as him a colonizer (hey Shuri), and locked him in workplaces so he can keep out their approach (I see you, Nakia). Though he helped forestall the weapons of Wakanda from leaving their borders, he wanted strict directions from Shuri to even try this.

I sho’ll was like “DON’T TRUST WHITEY” your entire time. I saved anticipating him to flee to the US and inform all their secrets and techniques. He nonetheless may partially 2. I nonetheless don’t belief him.

It was so refreshing to my spirit to observe this white man be handled like an annoyance. IT IS ABOUT TIME. It was like chilly lemonade to my shady soul. That is the remedy WE obtain in every thing so it’s solely proper it occurred right here like this. Though he shot some planes down, he’s no hero. I believe the movie is obvious about that.

The Killmonger Dialog

This movie’s layers have been deeper than the Pacific, and plenty of that needed to do with the character performed by Michael B. Jordan (the B should stand for “bae”). Erik Stevens aka N’Jadaka, son of N’Jobu aka Killmonger. Each story should have an antagonist, and he occurs to be among the finest ones I can recall. He was much less “villain” and extra anti-hero to me.

Killmonger 9

Killmonger was catalyst for us to have a dialog in regards to the disconnect between Africans and African People. He was the stress, in human kind, and an emblem for individuals who have been actually left behind by white supremacy, slavery and all of the ills that come from it. Born in Oakland to a Wakandan prince father (N’Jobu), N’Jadaka by no means knew his ancestral homeland. When his father was then killed by his uncle, King T’Chaka, they left him and didn’t look again to see if he was okay. They left him to fend for himself in a world that didn’t give a shit whether or not he lived or died. He was of royal blood however lived like a pauper. What good does that blood make then?

So he grew as much as be a skilled murderer for the US authorities, turning into a wonderful Black Ops who has killed hoes in lots of space codes. Kill scars are his trophy, and so they litter his physique.

Killmonger 2

THAT BAWDY. Chisos of Nazareth, stepson of Joseph! Anyway.

When he lastly makes his option to Wakanda, he’s there to avenge the demise of his father, and to take the crown, so he can use their unused warpower to assist liberate Black folks in every single place.

Eric Stevens was cheated. The little boy who needed to uncover panther claws in his lifeless daddy’s physique was wronged. N’Jadaka, who needed to undergo as his kin sat on thrones, was indebted. The Black man who knew he had individuals who have been prospering and guarded, as others who regarded like him have been certain and indentured all over the world, was justified. Killmonger’s rage was righteous and noble. The Wakandans, of their responsibility to guard their nation, failed him. And by extension, failed Black folks across the globe. What good is it to reside in a mansion as your brother is toiling in a hut? When your property rejects you, the place do you belong? When T’Challa misplaced the ritual battle, and ended up within the ancestral realm together with his father, he admitted, angrily that N’Jadaka “is a monster of our personal making.” Truest details.

Nonetheless, I gained’t be sporting Staff Killmonger tshirts. His motives have been on level however his ways have been laborious to defend. White violence, is by and by, accountable for Black oppression. That violence isn’t simply bodily, but in addition emotional and psychological. Can the arming of Black folks across the globe free us? Does white supremacy’s work get erased if we simply shoot again? What if these arms they ship out of Wakanda find yourself within the flawed fingers, as soon as once more? Haven’t they already?

Extra importantly, Killmonger’s rage was all-encompassing. It was “DESTROY EVERYTHING,” even the nation of his personal folks.

Killmonger 1

Even their pure sources (the heart-shaped herbs). Even their safety. He choked up a girl who was doing HER responsibility (to mine extra herbs) simply because she dared to query him. And he was about to kill their greatest mental asset, Shuri, with out a lot thought. That blind fury is why I can’t name him a hero. For this reason I used to be TEAM NAKIA. She wished the identical factor, however she determined to do it herself, whereas petitioning the King.

But and nonetheless, I checked out Killmonger’s character as an indictment. A essential one. As somebody who’s African, I noticed that character pointing the finger at folks like me. Have we accomplished sufficient to construct a bridge between these of us who know our direct lineage and have been born there, and those that bought lower off from their lineage over these rocky seas? Have we, in our satisfaction in being who we’re, othered individuals who yearn for his or her connection to the motherland? Have WE left behind others, not trying again?

He (and Nakia) are reminders that there is no such thing as a “us and them” if we wanna get free. When one in every of us is on hearth, ALL OF US are on hearth, as a result of Blackness, all over the world, is continually below assault from white supremacy, and colonization. Attacking one another solely diminishes us. That’s the reason watching Killmonger and T’Challa go at it was not a battle that was going to finish nicely. Both of them dying is heartbreaking. I didn’t even need Killmonger to die. I hoped he lived to see one other day and he was all “Aight lemme not burn the place down. Let’s free Black folks collectively and have Cousin Sundays on the Cliff.” However when he checked out T’Challa, and stated “Bury me within the ocean like my ancestors who jumped in. As a result of they knew that demise was higher than bondage.” I nearly gasped. That line was gorgeous.

I’m nonetheless hoping he isn’t actually lifeless, since that is the comicverse, the place folks have extra lives than cats.

That character was written so nicely, as a result of he has stayed with me. I preserve desirous about him, and his phrases, and his rage. And I notice that though he was that monster, he performed a job in making certain that Wakanda WAS utilizing its energy to assist others. On a brilliant easy degree, he’s the Malcolm to Nakia’s Martin (you already know I needed to do it. Marvel is filled with this dichotomy, like Magneto and Professor X).

The connection between Africans and African People is one thing I’ve talked about earlier than, and we have to heal. Wakanda, in contrast to most of Africa, escaped colonization, which is why it’s the utopia all of us need to reside in. However most of Africa, in contrast to Wakanda, has been pilfered of its pure sources by the colonizers, and doesn’t have the capability to assist. So when Africans come to the USA and excel, we gotta realize it’s not simply from our personal doing. We didn’t pull ourselves up by bootstraps. Who do we expect made these boots? The African People who’ve been right here for 400 years, overwhelmed, chained up and denigrated. Their legacy permits us to then cross the ocean, on our personal volition, and do nicely. We’re standing on their shoulders and we should not overlook that.

I preserve desirous about what T’Challa stated when he went to the United Nations. “Fools construct obstacles, the clever construct bridges.” I don’t care the place you’re born. This melanin means we’re kinfolk, even when it’s farrrrr down the road. However we’ve let the world inform us who we’re. We’ve referred to as one another names. We’ve let the world inform us that we’re on totally different groups. And we’ve let one another down by not combating for one another.

For the dialog to be productive and for therapeutic to occur, either side should be keen to get uncomfortable, personal our roles, apologize for them and make amends to one another. We have to study every others’ histories, as a result of life ain’t been no crystal stair for both aspect. THAT is how we are able to construct bridges. We’re victims of White supremacy, and that’s what we have to defeat. We have to love up on one another and make white of us uncomfortable as a result of they understand how unstoppable we might be after we know we go collectively.

Shuri TChalla greeting Black Panther

Whew. We bought work to do.


I’m actually excited for little Black children to see this. The children from Oakland and Chicago and New York get to see this and see themselves mirrored again. I’m inspired that this technology will get to see themselves on a giant display screen in such a major approach and so they get to see what is feasible. They may not be Black Panther, however they are often scientists like Shuri. They are often filmmakers, and artists who receives a commission for his or her work. They will develop into any individual who adjustments the world via no matter energy that they’ve, no matter that energy is.

My coronary heart is full by the truth that this movie appears like life-affirming in the way in which that can’t be taken again and it’s lengthy overdue. And the success of Black Panther ought to imply that extra of those tales might be written and produced and distributed on a grand scale. I say SHOULD, as a result of, nicely. Shit occurs and whiteness likes to do dumb shit like ignore logic, all within the title of racism. Extra of those tales of Blackness, in all its types, have to be shared to the world and the chances are infinite. If nothing else Black Panther ought to present that our tales are worthwhile, wonderful and essential. We want extra of them on a regular basis in all types. They gained’t all seem like Black Panther, which is sweet. They have to be totally different however they should exist.

So shoutout to Ryan Coogler and the solid who KILLED IT. And allowed us to come back collectively in pleasure. I’m formally claiming citizenship of Wakanda.

Wakanda Forever


P.S. I launched a podcast referred to as Rants and Randomness, and within the first episode, I give a 15 minute evaluate of Black Panther. Hear and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Google Play Music!

Have you ever purchased my NYTimes-bestselling debut ebook I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual? Haven’t ordered it but? Now’s your probability. You’ll adore it. Amazon. Barnes & Nobles. iBooks. Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself). Kobo. Books-A-Million.


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