Black Panther: film and fashion inspiration?


Brianna Baptiste, Columnist

Since the first whisper of the movie, Black Panther has been highly anticipated. Some may say that it even started a revolution.

Black Panther is a superhero created by Marvel Comics; his real name is King T’Challa, leader of the fictional African nation called Wakanda.

“Black people, as a whole, have been waiting for forever to get a black superhero on the big screen,” said Kayla Hull, a Buffalo State College student.

Recently in Hollywood, people have been speaking out about the whitewashing going on in movies. Whitewashing is described as putting white or fair skin men and women in roles that call for darker skin or people from other cultures. With this outcry getting louder with each new movie release, Black Panther came as a well deserved surprise.

Black Panther is actually a 90% either African or African American cast. To many people’s surprise, the director is African American as well and in his early 30s.

With all of these aspects in mind, when the movie debuted, there were many that took to the streets, in a good way.

Images and video footage of audiences viewing the movie went viral all over the Internet. Some came out in their most traditional African attire, while others came out in uniform of the Black Panthers from the civil rights movement.

The demand for African attire skyrocketed since the release of the movie. Reason being is, many attended the movie in head wraps and some went as far as to have a dressmaker make a traditional outfit for them. For some audience member who couldn’t afford such a splurge, a dashiki usually sufficed.

A dashiki is a top for both men and women that is made of African fabric or print. This top has become so popular that in some predominantly black neighborhood, you can find a dashiki in your 99 Cents store.

There were audience members that took more of a literal outlook on their outfit for the viewing of the movie. The Black Panthers from the 60s were their inspiration. These are the people that came out in all black. All black in the black community recently has become empowering. This is a sign of solidarity.

Full makeup was also involved for these outfit tributes. Tribal makeup was the main one. This consisted of your favorite face paint in earthy tones such as orange, brown, and red. You can also use the traditional colors of black and white. Those paints are used to make dots or lines on your face. Having fun with this is key. The more it’s true to you, the more it will be ‘perfect’.

“I went to the movies in all black. I actually found a black beret in my closet and I knew I had to wear it. This movie is like the Grammy’s for black people. We had to show out in only the best,” Hull said.

If you are one of the few who haven’t seen Black Panther yet, be sure to go out and see it as soon as possible in an outfit that pays respects to black culture and it’s community. Remember, selected regal theaters have $5 Tuesdays. Find yours and go see Black Panther.