Ever been to see a Marvel movie in theaters? If so, you may have noticed people dressing up as their favorite hero or villain. Marvel Studios has now introduced a new superhero in its latest movie: T’challa, the King of Wakanda. The rest of the world knows him as Black Panther.
Marvel fans appreciate the action in the movie Black Panther. Someone else may enjoy the fact that it shined light on a culture that has been traditionally overlooked.
“I personally loved the movie,” said Lexxus Clark, a beauty influencer from Detroit. “It was very rich in culture and a complete 180 from the typical movie with a predominantly black cast.”
As you scroll through social media you may have noticed some of the hashtags #blackpanther, #blackpantherinspired and #wakandaforever.
“Since the movie was released, I see a lot of people on social media doing Black Panther-inspired makeup tutorials with tribal face paint as well as others creating inspired garments from the movie from scratch,” Clark said.
Clark is known for being a makeup artist, for her Youtube channel, and now she has a wig making business. Through her social media platforms she is able to give tips and tutorials on current trends. Clark’s opinion on beauty is respected by many of her fans. Her opinion on the movie and its beauty could be shared with many outside her fanbase.
“I think the movie shines a positive light on the black community,” said Mia Gordon, a Michigan State University communications student. “I feel like it’s a reminder of how strong black people really are, despite how society may look at us.”
Xue Yang is a Marvel fan, as well as a makeup artist from Lansing. She had the chance to see Black Panther and found it interesting for multiple reasons.
“It had a simple storyline, wasn’t hard to follow and it wasn’t predictable,” Yang said. “I enjoyed all of the great action scenes.”
Black Panther is the first of its kind: a movie based on a Marvel comic that shines light on African culture. Wakanda represents a country in Africa that the superhero, Black Panther, is from. The makeup, tribal marks, garments and hairstyles in Wakanda were influenced by multiple countries in Africa.
“There was a lot of inspiration with the fashion. They highlighted many popular tribes and cultures in Africa from the face paints to the jewelry to the fabrics,” said Trulove Arhin, an MSU graduating senior. Arhin is from Illinois, and her parents are from Ghana.
“I saw people wearing dashikis, and I personally dressed up in all black with my traditional Ghanaian Kente head scarf,” Arhin said.
The Marvel superhero Black Panther has no relation to the civil rights movement of the Black Panthers. However, it does shine light to an important issue in the black community. This may lead to African Americans wanting to appreciate their African roots in many ways.
“Being a first-generation Ghanaian American, I’ve noticed the gap between the two cultures. I grew up hearing many Africans talk down on African Americans, and when I went to school I would hear African Americans talking down on Africans,” Arhin said. “I really appreciate that the movie gave that message of pan Africanism where all the African nations come together as well as universal Black and African unity.”
Arhin found a cultural connection and beauty in the message the movie displayed.
“I remember leaving the theater feeling proud to be both Black and African,” Arhin said. “I think they represented the African continent very well and accurately, which is why I didn’t feel offended by the actors wearing traditional prints and tribal marks.”
Like Arhin, some audiences enjoyed this movie for reasons other than its action and suspense.
“I’m not a comic book fan, I’ve never heard of a Black superhero,” Gordon said. “So to see one I felt proud of who I am.”