Black Panther is the Reason I’m Writing Again

It’s only been almost three weeks since Black Panther premiered in the U.S. I’m betting that by now, whether a person has seen it or not, everyone has heard something about this movie. Whether it’s the praise of the almost all black cast in Marvel’s 19th superhero film, or the socially conscious dialogue, or even the fact that it’s a good movie – everyone knows about Black Panther. There are already tons of articles critiquing, analyzing, and discussing the social and political impacts that the film will have on the future. This is not a review or in-depth analysis of the movie (but if anyone would like to read some, I have them listed at the end. Caution, there are spoilers). This is a article purely about how the movie has inspired me.

The all dark-skinned cast, empowered female characters, and the backstory of the anti-hero Killmonger was incredible. The idea of the existence of a place like Wakanda is something that I will continue to fantasize and dream about, and I am now even more inclined to shave off all of my hair. Seriously – ask my friends. But more than anything, my awe and inspiration lies with Ryan Coogler. For those of you who don’t know, Ryan Coogler is co-writer and director of the film Black Panther (as well as Fruitvale Station and Creed). The Oakland native attended USC School of Cinematic Arts and is 31 years old. Let me repeat, he is only 31 years old.

His ability to connect with all audiences through this film is incredible. His ability to take a complicated and sensitive issue, and portray it to audiences worldwide in an understandable way is something that I admire. The conversations that I had with everyone who’d seen the film is something that I cherish. From coworkers to friends, I discussed delicate issues of colonialism, race, and black America, all because we’d all see the same superhero movie. A superhero movie.

I walked out of the theatre the day after Black Panther dropped, blown away by the actors performances, but even more amazed by what he was able to do. I immediately began trying to learn everything I could about the man behind the camera (AKA I watched YouTube videos for hours a day – again ask my friends). The most impressive thing about him is how authentic he is – an unapologetic man from the East Bay of San Francisco. I began thinking about who I am, and reflecting on my 22+ years of life experience. I realized I have so much I want to say. Ryan Coogler helped me find my voice again. Not only that, my passion for writing, which has been lacking, came flooding back. I want to be able to share my truth, connect with audiences, and make an impact on the world. I want to use my passion and love for writing to do something great. So that’s what I’m going to do.

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