Document Type

Article

Journal or Conference Title

Religions

ISSN

2077-1444

Volume

9

Issue

10

First Page

304

Publication Date

10-8-2018

Department

Religion and Philosophy

Abstract

Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film Black Panther portrays the heroes of the fictional African kingdom of Wakanda as godlike. They possess otherworldly sophistication by virtue of their blackness, in contrast to longstanding tendencies in mainstream film toward tokenism, stereotyping, and victimhood in depictions of people of African descent. The superhero the Black Panther, a.k.a. King T’Challa, learns to stand in solidarity with the oppressed, even those in whose oppression he has been unwittingly complicit, such as the children of the African diaspora. As a result, the film can function as catalyst for reflection on the part of viewers in terms of how they might perceive more clearly the complexity, variety, and ambiguity represented by blackness, whether others’ or their own, and how they, too, might identify with the Other.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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