I was invited to the Black Panther European Premier in London. Words barely can explain how exciting this was. If you saw the US Premier you saw the stars on the red carpet in extravagant African garments. This event had no red carpet and was more of an intimate and private screening with the Director Ryan Coogler and many of the cast to include Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Ulysses Klaue, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Daniel Kaluuya. The atmosphere was amazing with people wearing all sorts of African clothing and the crowd was very diverse.
I had high expectations for this film as a longtime fan of Marvel. Never have we seen this type of budget behind a Black superhero with a predominantly Black cast that is also based in Africa. As high as my expectations were I was not one bit disappointed in the movie. This is one of the best Marvel movies I have ever seen. Black Panther was unapologetically Black and I was there for it. Based on the previews I already thought that Michael B. Jordan would steal the movie playing the villain Erik Killmonger. My instincts were correct. He was amazing in the villainous role. We already knew Chadwick Boseman would be great as he had already debuted as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War. But a superhero movie must have the balance between a good hero and villain.
Some white people that I have spoken to really don’t get the significance of why I was so excited about this movie other than being a fan of Marvel. How many Black superhero movies do we have? Think about all major studio movies and how many actual Black actors star in these films. The truth as to why I am so excited is because we are not portrayed in this way most of the time or are told we can’t hold our own in sales. I had to express to him that it means a great deal to me to see the most technology advanced place in the entire Marvel universe is the African country of Wakanda and the wealthiest person is King T’Challa. The technology displayed in this movie had my inner and outer geek salivating. I wanted to be from Wakanda. In fact I renounced my citizenship from Zamunda to Wakanda a few months ago on FaceBook.
The casting was amazing. This was black excellence on the highest levels. Michael B. Jordan was the best villain since the late Heath Ledger’s Joker in the Dark Knight and he won an Oscar. Now let’s get to the women. Shuri played by Letitia Wright was absolutely incredible and could easily have her own storyline in the Marvel Universe. It was great to see the women represented as strong Black women and not sexualized. There were Ruth Carter outdid herself with the costumes in the film and if she doesn’t win the Academy Award for Best Costume Design I am boycotting. There cannot be another movie that will challenge the culture, colors and attention to detail of the costumes in this movie.
This movie represented Black empowerment at the highest levels. Growing up as a kid you didn’t hear Black and King used together but T’Challa is truly a Black King. Just as well this movie was just as important to Black women as Wonder Woman to White women. Go support this movie! I will see it 5 times at a minimum. This movie should end all doubt about what Black superheroes can do on the big screen. I even had a few minutes to chat up the Black Eyed Peas before the movie and they were anticipating black excellence as well.
I am giving a special shout out to other performances from Ulysses Klaue, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Winston Duke, Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Daniel Kaluuya.
Disney NEEDS to create a Wakanda theme park. I would visit it tomorrow!
Here are some pictures from the night: