Black Panther, the most high-profile superhero movie yet, celebrates black excellence and cements its place in cinematic history. The movie stars Chadwick Boseman as the African king and masked warrior of fictional Wakanda.
The all-star cast includes Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Danai Gurira and Angela Bassett, among others. This cultural milestone is expected to become the highest-grossing title to star a black ensemble cast.
The women behind this warrior African king are the movie’s true marvels. In Marvel’s attempt at being “woke,” the film confronts colonialism, racism, and nationalism in profound ways, while also depicting a vision of black womanhood that’s both inspiring and empowering.
Representation in pop culture matters. Much like the animal kingdom, in which female wildcats hunt and maintain control, the women are the ones in control of the throne and the society of Wakanda. The technological advancements they make and battles they fight are because of their intelligence and inner strength rather than a potion or power.
Directed by Ryan Coogler, the highly anticipated Black History Month film has already broken Marvel’s pre-sale records and is breaking box office records, clearing $25 million. Black Panther will either beat or tie with Captain America: Civil War as the second-best Marvel preview ever behind Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Kendrick Lamar curated and produced the epic soundtrack. The 14-song, 50-minute album boasts reliable guest spots from Lamar’s Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates SZA and Schoolboy Q. On its way to No. 1 on the billboard 200 charts, the soundtrack is expected to have the biggest week since Suicide Squad: The Album a year-and-a-half ago.
The set has already launched a trio of hit songs on the Billboard Hot 100: The Weeknd and Lamar’s “Pray for Me”, Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” and Jay Rock, Lamar, Future and Blake’s “King’s Dead”.