Black Superheroes Matter 1 Favorite 



Feb 16 2018



Watch Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, and you'll see a charismatic character who fills a void in the conflicted do-gooder group. This T'Challa is accessible, awe-inspiring and perhaps most importantly, human. "I think the question that I'm trying to ask and answer in Black Panther is, 'What does truly mean to be African?'" the filmmaker recently told Rolling Stone. "The MCU has set itself in the real world as much as possible – so what does it mean for T'Challa to move around as this black man in a movie reality that tries to be a real world?"

All of which means that, after decades of trying to nail the modern black superhero, we may finally be getting what we've asked for – and getting it right. These black men and women didn't cower in the face of danger, white power or guns; their combination of sex appeal and swagger made many audiences fall in love with them. To say that mileage may vary among these portraits of sticking it to the Man would be putting it mildly. But in hindsight, you can see how the Blaxploitation movies influenced a generation of black musicians and artists by selling a profoundly Afrocentric image, as well as spawning a legacy that can be seen in everything from hip-hop to stand-up comedy.

Coogler has set out to do something with the modern black superhero that all previous iterations have fallen short of doing: making it respectable, imaginative and powerful. The Afro-punk and Afrofuturism aesthetics, the unapologetic black swagger, the miniscule appearances from non-black characters – it's an important resetting of a standard of what's possible around creating a mythology for a black superhero. The trailers point to a new direction for depicting not only black superheroes, but also how we imagine our heroes. He's not being played for laughs. He's not a sidekick or born out of dire circumstances. His story, one of an ingrained birthright, legacy and royalty is a stark difference for how we tend to treat most black superheroes – and black superhero movies.

Posted by LCB1980 on

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