Why ‘Black Panther’ Is a Defining Moment for Black America

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Author: Julia Stuart

A Turning Point for Black Americans: ‘Black Panther’

The Grand Lake Theater is the only place which remains people belonging to Oakland, Calif. The Grand Lake is definitely that spot everyone goes to when there is a film or community event of a city significance. One of the most impressive events was the viewing of “Fruitvale Station” by the Bay Area native Ryan Coogler. This film tells us a story from real-life – the police shooting of Oscar Grant. It all happened on the morning of New Year’s Day 2009 and evoked a great grief and protest in the town. While watching, Coogler also tells us a story about Grant’s last day alive. There were depicted his children, his wife, his attempts to make the area better and to find some sense, while the young was feeling aimless and daunting. However, the most emotional moment took place after the end of the movie. Friends, strangers, and just ordinary people, nearly all black, who were watching a movie, were crying and holding each other in cool night. At that moment, they felt they know each other enough.

On the 16 February, another film was presented on the screen of Grand Lake Theater – “Black Panther”. It was probably the most important thing happening there that time. The Internet was full of different comments and news concerning “Black Panther”. This film is considered to be one of the most tweeted of 2017. There were a lot of plans for viewing a movie, arranged a private screening, movie evenings etc. The period when the time of the premiere was announced, people immediately started posting pictures of what might be called African-Americana. They described it as an approaching feeling of the Black Panther premiere.

“Black Panther” isn’t successful just because of is the first major black superhero movie. Everything is much deeper than this. There were many other films like “Blankman” or “The Meteor Man”, where the main heroes were black and they created campy laughs. Superheroes are always beloved by society. So, the idea of a normal ordinary black person captured was unusual. The actor’s blackness, in most cases, seemed somehow incidental. Actually, “Black Panther” is a movie where we are able to see centered black people.

Ryan Coogler have had an idea his first Black Panther comic book as a child. It was at an Oakland shop called Dr. Comics & Mr. Games not far from the Grand Lake Theater. When he is talking about “Fruitvale Station”, Coogler can hardly hide his tears away. He is interested in defining various identity: What does it mean to be a black person or an African person? Coogler told when his parents were preparing him for life, he first heard a story about slavery. Then he heard of a place where even his parents have never been before. And, this place if Africa but in a skewed version of it. Coogler was traveling a lot around that continent, visiting Kenya, South Africa and the Kingdom of Lesotho.

All in all, “Black Panther” is a Hollywood movie, while Wakanda is a fictional nation. Coogler managed to store some of expectations and hopes for multiple generations of black Americans about Africa. In the earliest memories of a lot of people, Africa was seen as a warm dream that can be never achieved and as a continent of real pure beauty.

In general, this movie features not only the first biggest cast in superhero-film history, it features it with some deep meaning. A lot of all-female royal guard, alongside with a brilliant female inventor are also depicted here. All people, after watching this film, have a lot to think and to talk about. “Black Panther” portrays race and gender issues, with a great importance paid to the fact of having black superheroes as main characters. This movie is considered to be a movie of all times, remaining a defining moment for Black America.

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