Black Panther is an American superhero movie, that focuses on the Marvel Comics. It is the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to center on a superhero of color. The protagonist here is an African prince-turned-king T’Challa – Chadwick Boseman, aka the Black Panther. The Black Panther movie is directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and many other stars who also featured in the movie.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 08: Cast, Director and Producers attend the European Premiere of Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on February 8, 2018 in London, England.

The Black Panther movie hit the cinema on February 16, 2018 in the United States of America. It got premiered in Los Angeles on January 29, 2018 in 2D, 3D, IMAX and other premium large formats. The Black Panther movie is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The setting and plot of Black Panther Movie

The narrative of the movie is on the Black Panther or T’Challa, who gets recognition after becoming the king of Wakanda. Wakanda is a small fictional African nation, located in equatorial Africa. It shares boundary with the nations of Narobia, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and Ethiopia and derives its name after its native inhabitants, the Wakandans. The nation is highly abundant in Vibranium,which is the main component of the Black Panther’s shield.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
T’Challa, rises to the throne as King in the isolated, but technologically advanced nation of Wakanda.

In the movie, T’Challa, returns to his home country of Wakanda after the death of his father, T’Chaka. He rises to the throne as King in the isolated, but technologically advanced nation. However, a vindictive supervillain, Erik Killmonger, challenges T’Challa’s supremacy as the new king of Wakanda. Killmonger, has been a childhood victim of T’Chaka, the late father of T’Challa. He (Killmonger) therefore sees the accession of T’Challa to the throne of Wakanda as an opportunity for revenge and sabotage.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
T’Challa’s supremacy as the new king of Wakanda is however challenged by a vindictive supervillain, Erik Killmonger.

An enemy roughly tests T’Challa’s political mettle as king and Black Panther in this formidable conflict. A conflict that puts the fate of the inhabitants of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Locked in this treachery and danger, T’Challa, rallies his allies and releases his full power to crush the enemies.  The outcome of this fight is the security and safety of the people of Wakanda and their way of life.

Financial worth of the ‘Black Panther Movie’

Entertainment gurus have described Black Panther as one of the best films set in the MCU. Consequently, its financial worth has maintained geometric increase ever since its release. The movie is currently the highest grossing movie of 2018. According to Forbes, a $426.6 Million opening made Black Panther the top-grossing film with a black cast. In just four days after it release, the movie earned $242.1 million in the United States.

In February 17, 2018, CNN Money projected  ‘Black Panther’ for a blockbuster weekend. Domestically, the film as of March 10, 2018, grossed $521 million, making it the ninth-highest release of all time. While on a global scale, it crossed the $1 Billion mark at the Global Box Office

Afrocentrism in ‘Black Panther Movie’

In an exposition of the afro-centric spirit, the movie gets its name after the pro-black rights, the Black Panther Movement.  The setting of the movie is largely Wakanda, the fictional African nation. It features the first mostly black collaborative cast in superhero-film history.

Black Panther works wonderfully as a soothingly mocking critique of deep-sited colonialist attitudes. It is surprising that Michael B Jordan plays the villainous Killmonger, rather than Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa, whose character best symbolizes black anger against historic oppression. It is the former who wants to use Wakanda’s riches to fuel a worldwide black uprising. By contrast, the hero (and by extension Coogler himself), has another roadmap to the revolution in mind.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
Black Panther is set mostly in the fictional African nation of Wakanda and features the first mostly black collaborative cast in superhero-film history.

Rather than fight to reverse colonialism, the superhero makes it clear in the mid-credit scene at the UN, that Wakanda will use its power to reframe the conversation entirely. He rejects the use of violence as a means of redistributing wealth, while looking at education and technology as empowerment tools for the oppressed.

For sure, Wakanda will give aids to recipient nations without any strings attached, unlike that of western nations. They are not to open up their economies to Wakanda business interest.

Generally, the road-map of the superhero is a clear message on peaceful revolution and international trade and diplomatic collaboration in a global world. A probable message that Africa is rich and capable enough to warrant the respect of the West. Consequently, adopting a diplomatic, rather than a radical approach against colonial and neocolonial influences is the right way to go.

Feminist Innovation in ‘Black Panther Movie’

Women empowerment is one of the attractive innovations in the Black Panther. It is outstanding novelty in the history of superhero movies. Black Panther projects an all-female royal guard and a brilliant female inventor/engineer. The film successfully gives female characters depth and range on the same level of its male heroes and villains. There are more main female characters in Black Panther than there are in any other movie by MCU film.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
Black Panther projects an all-female royal guard and a brilliant female inventor/engineer.

In the movie, nearly all of the women support King T’challa in some way. Ramonda is his mother, Shuri his sister, Okoye his general, Nakia a spy, and the rest of the Dora Milaje are his guards. Each of them plays a specific function – either as a super-genius, freeing young girls from assumed sexual slavery, maintaining a royal front in the face of chaos, or making hard choices when it comes to dueling loyalties. Okoye, leader of the royal guard, resembles nothing we have seen before in superhero movies. She not only symbolizes warmth, but she uncompromisingly represents black female pride and power, a destroyer of Wakanda’s enemies.

Black Panther Movie; Afrocentrism & Feminism in Hollywood
Okoye, leader of the royal guard

Evidently, the success of Black Panther as a movie and as a character, is highly dependent on the women of Wakanda. The overarching message is that Women can get things done. Discount them at your own peril.


Individuals, especially of the black race, who have watched ‘Black Panther’ will certainly have plenty of talking points afterward. From its portrayal of Afrocentrism and feminism, to the overall importance of having an all-black superheroes as main characters, rather than sidekicks. The financial worth, with its recent $ 1 Billion mark shall preoccupy movie grossing analysts for some time.

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