Yara Shahidi Writes Op-Ed About ‘Black Panther’
Grownish actress Yara Shahidi penned a guest column for the Hollywood Reporter yesterday in which she discussed Black Panther and how the success of a major movie with a predominantly black cast left an impression on her.
Shahidi described sitting in the theater and enjoying Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther with countless others was a surreal experience.
“To understand that a film like Black Panther is possible speaks to the bigger implication that we now have a movie that utilizes a predominantly black cast securing the same press, the same funding, the same attention from the film studio, audiences and reporters alike left an impression on my soul,” Shahidi wrote. “Films can unabashedly be about the black experiences and how these experiences are not niche but complex and worth living on a global stage. The subtext of the movie and its very title are derivative of the Black Power movement of the ’60s.”
Shahidi also described the homage to Huey P. Newton — a co-founder of the Black Panther movement — through the visual imagery of the Wakandan throne depicted in the film.
She then went on to discuss the fact that in the past, the look of a superhero tended to be homogenous because of “the history of a white aesthetic.” But as she watched Black Panther, Shahidi found herself searching for the superhero within her.
“Black Panther is breaking barriers as a movie and as a cultural moment; making me feel like I have permission to celebrate our diverse culture, while demonstrating to corporations and studios alike that our art is important and profitable,” Shahidi wrote. “The success of this movie is undeniable, and I’m so fortunate that my younger brothers and I are growing up in the era of Black Panther — an era in which our blackness is not only being normalized but honored.”
Shahidi is not the only celebrity to point out the power of Black Panther.
“I’m glad the reviewers are showering Black Panther with praise,” The Big Sick co-writer and actor Kumail Nanjiani tweeted. “It really is a game changer. You don’t realize how similar superhero movies are to each other until you see one that breaks the mold.”
I’m glad the reviewers are showering Black Panther with praise. It really is a game changer. You don’t realize how similar superhero movies are to each other until you see one that breaks the mold.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) February 6, 2018
“One of the best things you can do for yourself and/or the ones you love is purchase some #BlackPanther tix,” Kong: Skull Island actress Brie Larson tweeted. “I know it’s expensive to go to the theater, but its worth it for this one. You will exit forever impacted.”
One of the best things you can do for yourself and/or the ones you love is purchase some #BlackPanther tix. I know it’s expensive to go to the theater, but its worth it for this one. You will exit forever impacted.
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) February 16, 2018