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about the film, we need to take a moment to explore what makes “Black Panther “so great. “Black Panther” was an incredible movie in every way, but its most important accomplishment was giving a voice to people who have been largely marginalized and ignored; especially women and people of color.

The Women of Wakanda In our world, today, finding accurate representation—especially in film—of women reaching their full potential is rare. Gorgeous women are around every corner, but portrayals of strong, confident women are few and far between. Enter Wakanda to the rescue again. The women of Wakanda were not side chicks, waiting to be saved or swept off their feet. They were leaders, warriors, and innovators. And what is truly the film were central to the story. They had a purpose and drive that actually contributed to the plot. So rather than accessories, they were key players in the execution of the story. According to the director, Ryan Coogler, the film was very deliberate in its portrayal of women as strong, graceful and intelligent. In the movie, the head of technology and research is Shuri, a fiery 16-year-old girl. She’s a young, brilliant, incredible black woman; and she’s a role model for young girls everywhere. Letitia Wright who plays Shuri in the movie, said she hopes that her character can be a source of, “Positivity and light,” and encourage girls to, “Use their mind as a weapon.” Finding positive representations of black women… Is virtually impossible. Lupita Nyong’o plays Nakia, T’Challa’s love interest in the movie. To see a brilliant, passionate, beautiful dark-skinned woman portrayed in this way meant the world for women of color everywhere. Nakia allowed all of us to see a different kind of beauty.

Vikings Forever PHOTO CREDITS: Marvel Studios Film Stills

On opening night, Cleveland State’s Black Student Union brought a huge crowd of students to Tower City to see the movie with discounted admission. I had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with BSU’s Vice President, Bennidita Smith about the group’s involvement in making tickets available to students. Bennidita explained that she and President Julian Wilson along with the other members of the executive

board, saw the movie as an important

chord. She said that T’Challa’s sister, Shuri,

opportunity for unifying the Cleveland State

was a source of encouragement and hope.


“Shuri is like this young, beautiful,

Benedita said, “This movie is important for everyone to watch. I think the timeliness of it’s release is really key to

it’s significance. Right now, with all of the

black girl and who is developing the world’s most advanced technology. I’m going into STEM myself, so seeing Shuri meant everything to me.”

craziness going on in the news it’s really

#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe “Black Panther” is more than just another

Nakia allowed all of us to see a different kind of beauty.

remarkable is this: the women characters in

nice to have a movie like this that brings

superhero movie. It is a movement that resonates deeply with people everywhere. And people are sharing their opinions about the movie online with the hashtag #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe One Twitter user used this hashtag saying, “For the the first time in my life, I will get tvo see minorities, people who look like me, portrayed as “strong and intelligent.” For Bennidita, it means representation of her dreams. “Black Panther” is a more than just a superhero movie. It’s a movement, an iconic symbol of empowerment for millions of people for so many reasons. It masterfully celebrates individuality and serves as a vivid reminder of the importance of

everyone together. It celebrates individu-

unity for everyone. I began this article with

ality and reminds us of the importance of

my story. For me, “Black Panther” means

working together to solve our problems.She

agency: the ability to choose who I am and

also stressed the special meaning it has for

continously strive for excellence without

the black community at large, saying that it,

limits. I think Lupita Nyong’o summed

“allows us to see ourselves as superheroes,

up the feeling perfectly when she said , “I

Kings and Queens. That’s not something

know this industry wasn’t made for me, but

we get to see very often.” But for Benedita,

I’m not going to apologize for being here.”

one character struck an even more personal SPRING 2018 | VINDICATOR 18

The Vindicator - Spring 2018  
The Vindicator - Spring 2018