Telling Stories, Changing the Conversation

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When black people saved Hollywood | Think Piece

in Arts & Culture/Highlights by

Last week’s pre-sale tickets for the movie, Black Panther, scored record numbers than any other Marvel Studios film reported Fandango, a popular online ticket seller.

The highly anticipated movie has generated so much buzz that it has turned into a black cinema moment in which notions of black power intersect pop culture.

A media frenzy instigated by Marvel Studios’ announcement of a movie production years ago, has also been fueled and maintained by fanfare excitement. Hashtags, gifs and memes circulated in the buildup, create a growing fanfare in a Trump era of virulent racism. One response that emerged is an overwhelming push for cultural productions that portray people of color and women in an empowering light.


Still going are others who started crowdfunding campaigns to fund youth in various cities to attend viewings.

The idea of an imaginary, ridiculously wealthy African kingdom with spiritual superpowers intertwining metaphysical and military that stand up to white supremacist global powers is perfect timing. Especially, after Donald Trump, currently serving as U.S. President, referred to Africa as having “shithole countries” in a January 2018 meeting.

Not only are people excited to see how the movie transforms a comic book African demigod with super powers, but also voice the importance of supporting a film showcasing black people as winning, for once.


And looking good doing it. All the while, Marvel Studios, a branch of Marvel Comics, embarks on an extraordinary promotional campaign for Black Panther. Building on the wave of excitement with its release of trailers and stunning still photos, the studio prepares to bank on its latest installment of superhero flicks.

Directed by Ryan Coogler who also directed the highly popular Creed and breakout movie, Fruitvale Station, Black Panther’s soundtrack will be produced by Compton emcee, Kendrick Lamar. Added, a stellar cast of mostly brown-hued actors representing the African diaspora, the movie prepares to establish a multi-production following similar or stronger than Star Wars, Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings.

With the last two years of most big budget movies flopping miserably, Black Panther arrives right when Hollywood needs a superhero to save them. However, this is not the first time.

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