You know, I've always been a champion of the black man. And in fact, for most of my 20's, I actually wanted to BE black. I was living in New York, riding the subway reading the Auto Biography of Malcolm X and the speeches of MLK, listening to Public Enemy, and my movie heroes were Spike Lee and Denzel Washington.
To me, a Black Panther was something different that a comic book character.
That's a phase a lot of non-black kids experience. And although I eventually grew up and out of it, my empathy for the Black Experience in America has never really dwindled.
So, when I heard about this all black comic book movie", I was like "I'm gonna go give these guys some money!"
I'm more of a Drama / Comedy guy and to be honest, and I could not care less about Marvel Comics or Comic Book movies. In fact, I'm sick of 'em! I never see any comic book movies! Not one. (Well, maybe one. I saw "Iron Man".)
But I have to say; "Black Panther" was an awesome experience. I'm not saying it was an awesome movie, because I didn't know what the hell was going on for most of the time, plot-wise. The story is so front loaded with exposition and CGI and Kendrick Lamar and a Car chase, it takes kinda forever for the story to actually get going. But once it did, I was bought-in.
And to be there in a theater, with a diverse crowd, in a diverse city watching an all black, blockbuster was kinda trippy. The awesome drama was not on the screen, it was: now.
There is a cultural revolution going on in America and I have to say this film felt revolutionary!
Not only is Black Panther providing positive role models to young people, but it stands as a testament to the fact that "Hey, random black kid in the inner city! You can do this! This is an industry that black people can succeed in at the highest, highest levels! "
The fact that this thing even got made with this kind of budget is awesome AND it's raking in cash at the box office.
Today in America we have a Feminist Uprising.
A Black Consciousness Uprising.
Students Marching Against the NRA Uprising.
We've got guys like Elon Musk challenging the demonic fossil fuel industry.
We've got an all around expanding of human consciousness.
You wouldn't realize it when you look at the American Right, but they're kinda like comic book villains. Evil Cave Men.
The Macro themes of Black Panther mirror what's up in the zeitgeist: Anti-war, Anti-colonialism, Anti-violence, and Anti-ignorance, Pro-knowledge, Pro-Science, Pro-woman, etc....
In the final moments of the film, T'Alkala/Black Panther arrives in modern day Oakland to announce that he's purchased three Urban housing projects so that they may be turned into Technology And Research Centers.
"Black Panther" is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, created by Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, first appearing in Fantastic Four, July 1966.
The movie version is directed by Ryan Coogler, (Fruitvale Station, Creed) and stars Chadwick Boseman as the Black Panther.
Michael B Jordan plays the villain, “Kill Monger”. He's great in everything I've ever seen him in. This is he and Coogler's third film together.
The film also starred one of my favorite actors: Forest Whitaker. Whitaker is not only one of the most expert actors of our time, but also one of the most under utilized. Check him out in "The Last King of Scotland" for which he won an Oscar as Ugandan dictator Idi Amin.
The Black Panther Party, by the way, was a revolutionary socialist organization founded by Bobby Seale and Huey Newton in October 1966. The Black Panther Party's core practice was its armed citizens' patrols to monitor the behavior of officers of the Oakland Police Department and challenge police brutality in Oakland, California.
Also, it's no co-incidence that the movie starts in Oakland in 1992, the year of the LA Riots.