When Black Panther appeared on the big screen in Captain America Civil War I yelled in the theater. Straight up yelled. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for 20 plus years. I love these superhero films because they weren’t released at this volume when I was growing up at all. We had way more cartoons than movies and I grew up in the greatest cartoon era of all time so I wasn’t really sweating for superhero films to be released in the 90’s.
Black Panther matters to me to my inner nerd. I grew up on comic books and some of the best comics were Black Panther comics. So in that regard when it comes to me being a geek yes this movie is special to me. This was a hero created in the late 60’s and they changed his name later and then changed it back because of the white people outrage at the Black Panther Party even though the comic was created before the black panther party. The history of this superhero really means something. It’s really cool to finally see Black Panther on the big screen solo. I pray the same thing happens for Cyborg on the D.C side of things because Cyborg is another black superhero I grew up on and he has an interesting story.
I say all that to say this. The buildup to this film on social media has been very weird. People are making it like seeing this movie is philosophical and the existence of the black community is riding on this movie. Niggas acting like racism will be cured and Black Panthers that were wrongfully targeted and abused will be released from prison when this movie has success in the box office and Hollywood will change. The revolution is not in a movie sorry to say. Nothing will change after this movie drops except these actors will become richer (deservingly so) and the white people in the studios of Disney and Marvel funding it will become wealthy and kids of all colors will dress up as Black Panther for Halloween. That’s it. We still have to put the work in out here. In reality we have to change this shit. A movie is not doing that. I wish it could but it won’t. All the merchandise money not reaching broken homes. The box office money not going to our community so it’s still up to us. I’m not denying this will be a great visual for the world especially for black children to see but we’re gonna need more. A lot more. It’s only a movie ladies and gentlemen. It’s entertainment. It’s a victory in the realm of entertainment but not reality. If some shit like a race war were to pop off I don’t expect anyone in that movie to be on the front lines or in the streets nor do I expect to watch Black Panther for guidance on how to deal with racism because it’s fiction and they’re entertainers. A movie isn’t responsible to liberate the people.
I keep seeing quotes to the effect of “We never had a black superhero growing up.” NIGGA WHAT? SPEAK FOR YOUR GOT DAMN SELF! I grew up in the 90’s so I had a few. If you grew up in like the 60’s, 70’s, even the 80’s then yeah I understand that statement. The reason why people keep saying that shit is because they were the Kids/teens making fun of other kids/teens for reading Black Panther comics and comic books in general. Spawn comics. Blade comics. Bishop comics. All black superheroes by the way. Now these are the same people writing these articles and think pieces about Black Panther which is hilarious. They never tried to get into Black Panther back then because they didn’t think it was cool enough. I’m glad they care now and they can go back and read some comics and really understand Black Panther. I want people to join the bandwagon and be apart of comic greatness. I want people to know about Nick Fury, Batwing, Cyborg, Miles Morrales as Spider Man, John Stewart as Green Lantern, Static Shock, Black Racer, Black Lightning, the list goes on and on. The black superheroes always been there. These cool ass deep woke niggas just didn’t give a fuck back then which means there was no demand for a movie to be made.
I’m not mad at that. People change. I had a conversation with a friend of mine who went to high school with me and he told me “I wish I wasn’t trying to be cool in high school and learned how to play an instrument.” That’s real as fuck. In high school he made fun of his peers in band. Now as an adult he regrets it and sees that being cool don’t mean shit. The people who gave their peers growing up a hard time about reading comics and now love superheroes because of Black Panther I understand. I just don’t rock with them leading the charge trying to tell people how to see the movie and trying to make the shit political. My nigga it’s just a movie I’m excited to see cause I grew up on it. Yes I care about it in terms of nostalgia and geekdom but it’s just a movie.
I was 9 years old getting made fun of for reading comics. Like my nigga I’m 9. I’m a kid. The black community always trying to rush kids to be adults and act like adults. We can’t just be kids. We can’t read comics as adults either. It’s confusing. We just want us to fuck, dance, listen to trap shit and pay bills and that’s it.
Now did we have films of black superheroes yes. In my era I had Blade Trilogy. Meteor Man and Men In Black. Yes Will Smith was a hero as Agent J. But on the real. The real black men and women I seen every week were my black superheroes. Will Smith. Jamie Foxx. Kadeem Hardison. Levar Burton. Lisa Bonet. Denzel Washington. Queen Latifah. Spike Lee. Wesley Snipes. Bernie Mac. Tupac Shakur. Arsenio Hall. The Wayans Family. Jada Pinkett. Phylicia Rashad. These were my heroes in real life and I’m extremely happy for Chadwick. He was just known as the guy playing historical niggas in bad films. He now has a box office smash and that’s dope.
If you wanna go all out in costume and see it do that (Just don’t dress like that weirdo nigga Deray). If you just wanna see it like any other movie and wear sweats and a hoodie do that. People just need to let people be. If they’re not super excited to see it like everyone else don’t put them down for it or annoy them about it. If a person is super excited about seeing it and talks about it everyday then let them be excited and don’t put them down for that. Do what you feel.
Black Panther matters to me and it’s up to me and others to still do what really matters in the streets.
Can’t wait for Thursday though.