Selecting interesting articles, exciting news from the world of comics and pop culture, important editorials, or unique perspective pieces; LGN presents a monthly round up of links to read.
It’s Black Panther day!
Here’s your Special Edition/Long Weekend Monthly Read featuring articles about black excellence and the mold breaking movie Black Panther.
We are holding off on any formal reviews for later Monthly Reads but we can’t stop any article holding some mild spoilers so this your only warning.
1. The Revolutionary Power Of Black Panther | Time
“If you are reading this and you are white, seeing people who look like you in mass media probably isn’t something you think about often. Every day, the culture reflects not only you but nearly infinite versions of you—executives, poets, garbage collectors, soldiers, nurses and so on. The world shows you that your possibilities are boundless. Now, after a brief respite, you again have a President.
Those of us who are not white have considerably more trouble not only finding representation of ourselves in mass media and other arenas of public life, but also finding representation that indicates that our humanity is multifaceted. Relating to characters onscreen is necessary not merely for us to feel seen and understood, but also for others who need to see and understand us. When it doesn’t happen, we are all the poorer for it.”
A must read, no spoilers for the movie are in the article. It is only about impact.
2. Made in Black America: Why Black Panther is more than a comic book movie | lwl magazine
“T’Challa’s introduction as the first black superhero in American comics occurred over 50 years ago, yet it took 13 instalments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for him to make his big screen bow, in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. Chadwick Boseman’s eponymous protector is not the first hero of colour in the team, nor is he the first to headline a superhero blockbuster. He isn’t a genius millionaire or genetic anomaly but rather the alpha of a race of superior beings. As such, this can be seen as a moment in time for a generation, where a man of colour – dressed in distinctively ethnic attire and with an African accent – takes centre stage in a major Hollywood movie.”
3. The women of Wakanda ROAR – A sit-down with the female warriors of Black Panther |EW
“Wakanda has at least two precious natural resources: a trove of the rare Vibranium mineral that has helped vault the secretive African nation a century (or more) ahead of the rest of the world – and a population full of valiant, fire-hearted women.”
Women of Wakanda showing new levels of women in an equalized society.
4. When Wakanda Was Real | iO9
“And, of course, when black America streams into movie theaters on Feb. 15 and 16, we’ll do so knowing that Black Panther has nothing to do with reality. We are well aware that there was never a hidden African country so rich that its king would have been the wealthiest man who ever existed. Sure, there were rich African countries, but the leader of the fictional land of Wakanda is supposedly so wealthy that it is impossible to calculate his wealth. Of course, it is a fictional comic book tale that could never really happen.
Except it did.”
A great read about African history and it’s influence on Wakanda.
5. Black Panther: Can We Just Enjoy It? | Black Nerd Problems
“Black Panther, the Black superhero movie we’ve been praise dancing for, drops in a little over two weeks. Longtime fans and anxious newcomers alike have been posting, tweeting, and spreading the good word of our king and savior, T’Challa, and his squad of female warriors the Dora Milaje. This week we got to gaze upon the most moisturized actors in Hollywood as Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, and the rest of the cast of Black Panther blessed us with their presence on the purple carpet. It is amazing to see Black people from all walks of life come together to geek out over such a momentous occasion in Black cinema.
However, with all the appropriate levels of excitement, there’s bound to be a handful of overzealous fans, who worship our lightskinned Egyptian ancestors through Dr. Umar’s Facebook sermons, who pull ashy thoughts out of their third eyes.”
Enjoy what you like, critique when necessary.
6. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler: ‘I wanted to explore what it means to be African’ | Wired
“In 2013, Ryan Coogler made Fruitvale Station, a drama based on the shooting of a young black man in Oakland, California, where the first-time director grew up. In 2015, he brought Rocky Balboa out of retirement for Creed, his breakout film, which he made for his father, a life-long Rocky fan. But Coogler describes Black Panther, Marvel’s first superhero movie with a majority black cast, as his most personal film to date – a chance not only to do justice to one of his favourite superheroes, but to portray Wakanda, a fictional Afrofuturist nation isolated from the rest of the world.”
An excellent interview with Ryan Coogler, Black Panther’s director.
7. Meet the Woman Behind the African Utopia in ‘Black Panther’ | Vice
““The question is, ‘What is it to be African, and how as African Americans do we relate? How can we connect?’” asked Beachler. Africa has figured large in black American dreams of an existence truly and finally unencumbered by racism, and it’s no coincidence that Hollywood’s first major black superhero film isn’t about an American at all: Even in the Marvel Universe, with its frozen supersoldiers and warlock mystics, a film about black Americans who’d never had to contend with racism would strain credulity.”
The production on Black Panther is something incredible to behold.
8. I’m Moving To Wakanda So I Can Relish In Black People Magic 24/7: #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe | Black Girl Nerds
“This film is important because even though it’s 2018, it’s still far too rare to see Black people grace our movie screens, which is saddening to me. Black people have to work twice as hard as white people to only get half of the recognition and praise—and gosh darn it, I’m sick of it! Not only do we as Black people deserve to bless the world with our presence both on and off screen, but I believe we’ve earned it and I couldn’t be more proud of this movie’s release.”
A editorial about the personal impact Black Panther is already having on Black American culture.
9. ‘Black Panther’: Fans Around the Country Dress for Opening Night | Heat Vision
“Fans noted in social media posts it was important for them to dress in a way that befitted a film heralded as a cultural movement.
Black Panther opened in theaters Thursday night and fans marked the occasion with some awesome outfits.”
Keep checking the hashtags #BlackPanther, #WakandaForever, #WakandaCameToSlay
10. Black Panther The Album Review | Pitchfork
“Coogler, who always wanted to work with Kendrick on a project, essentially got a full-length Kendrick Lamar album out of it. Kendrick and Top Dawg CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith curated and produced the album with in-house producer Sounwave, and they sat down with the film’s composer Ludwig Göransson to work some songs into the score. Coogler selected Lamar because the themes in his music—foremost on that list: blackness as an identity, spirituality, power dynamics, self-doubt, and the onus of kingship—align with those in the film. Some of the music is from the movie, some is merely inspired by it, so don’t expect to see Wakandan tribal dances performed to 2 Chainz one-liners. But despite all its moving parts, and its by-the-numbers singles, Black Panther The Album is finely-tuned, aware of its audience, its objectives, and the stakes.”
A breakdown of the album brings insights on some of the production of the album.
Read up on the lyric game on Genius.
12. Black Panther Challenge
“Find a #BlackPantherChallenge site to support in a city near you.”
Help spread Black Panther knowledge and fundraising efforts to help pack theaters with kids who want to see a great MCU movie.