Black Panther is a big deal

March 14, 2018
Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios' "Black Panther."

You si 'Black Panther' yet? I haven't. To be honest, I was battling the urging of friends who insist that I go see it.

I don't have anything against the show yu know; I just naturally resist fads,

fashions and hype. And there seems to be a lot of that surrounding this flick.

Plus, I'm not a fan of 'superhero' films. So I was on a kinda one-man boycotting campaign against it. I'm weird like that.

However, my lecturer Dr Sonjah Stanley Niaah gently suggested recently that I shouldn't be avoiding the opportunity to observe and study such a classic example of contemporary cultural dynamics, especially as an artist and writer who claims to be a serious cultural studies student. So well, mi haffi go try and ketch it, even in the name of research.

Yeah, cultural studies scholars examine everything. So, if yu si mi surveying ladies on the Port Henderson back road or interviewing exotic dancers, rest assured that is academic investigation going on.

I might be trying to ascertain how mode of dress for workers in that field is being influenced by the film yu know, black panties in tribute to Black Panther!

But don't worry, I won't need to repent because it wouldn't be 'participatory research'.

Fun and joke aside though, getting into a cinema to see Black Panther is a now challenging undertaking, because tickets are sold out every day.

That movie is massive, and in more ways than one. First, it is proving to be a phenomenal financial success. The last time I checked, it already grossed nearly US$1.1 billion at the box office.

It appears to be having impact elsewhere too, as everybody now suddenly into African aesthetics. And as Dr Niaah also asserts, instead of being annoyed that it took a fantasy fiction film to initiate it, I should just celebrate the fact that more youth are gaining greater appreciation of things African.

Jay Hoffman writing in the Orlando Sentinel [online] on March 12 said, "Now black Americans can take their children to a movie where blacks are not portrayed as slaves. They're not fighting to overcome poverty or racism. They're not merely one in a larger group of good guys not on the periphery, but at the epicenter. And the few white characters are peripheral, just as black characters have been for so long in so many films."

Dat big, don't it?

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