Lupita employs a powerful intellect in her work and makes very
deep, very intricate choices. And she’s just relentless in her pursuit
of authenticity and specificity of the character. She is 150 percent
every second, doing more and more work offstage, growing in her
understanding of that world. It’s a dream for a writer. - Danai Gurira
So I’ve been overwhelmed by the black panther comicon appearance and I’ve been dwelling on how revolutionary the black panther movie is going to be, what it’s going to mean to countless people when this movie comes out and how long we still have to go, So I decided to put this short photoset together to illustrate exactly how big of a deal it is and how it is bigger than one person.
it’s so bittersweet because when I was younger (especially growing up where I did, a black kid in Finland) I really wished I had more access to imagery and media that reflected who I was because it would have made my life radically different for the better and I wouldn’t be at 26 (STILL) doing damage control but on the flipside, I’m so in awe of all of the beautiful talent in 2016 that younger black kids are able to see and be inspired by.
I think I was like 4 years old when I conciously picked up race and color via watching Disney’s “Aladdin” and I noticed how Jafar, the evil royal guards etc the villains were more ethnic looking or a shade darker than the “good” characters.
it’s insidious because you’re seeing something but at age 4, you don’t have the comprehension skill or knowledge to break it down and see it for what it is (Colorism, Societal bias against black people which is rooted in centuries of white supremacist doctrine, society associates things that are dark/darker colors with evil, danger, ugliness, dirt etc) and reject it.
so you pick it up and see it on a surface level and you think to yourself “well darker must mean ugly, criminal and less human”…then what happens when you look at yourself in the mirror and find out that you are black?
and guess what? if a 4 year old black kid can pick that up and internalize that about him/her/themselves….then a white kid can sponge up the same language and imagery that dehumanizes black people too (subconciously/conciously)…what happens when when these people grow up? become teachers, doctors, law enforcement etc? what kind of impact is that going to have?
I’m going off on a tangent and that’s just one personal example but society does that on a global grand scale and it is largely unchecked.
but honestly though,look at the photoset and think about how many talented people out there that we love and respect….who would NOT have achieved the things they did if it wasn’t for another person before them inspiring them to reach their goals and acting as trail blazers when it seemed as though it was impossible….then think about the flipside and how many people, with all the potential in the world, never lived to become great because they were met with more images dehumanizing them than ones uplifting them…this is why the fight for HONEST representation is important and it continues.
ok but you guys, Black Panther will have 2 dark-skinned female leads (Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira) that won’t portray their characters in a negative light as “ghetto” or slaves. Can you imagine all the little dark skinned girls in the theaters seeing the ethereally beautiful Lupita and Danai kicking ass and taking names whilst simultaneously embracing their dark skin tone and being proud African women with natural hair? this movie is literally gonna change everything and I’m so here for it.
Actress Lupita Nyong'o, director Mira Nair and actor David Oyelowo arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “"Queen of Katwe" at Roy Thompson Hall as part of the 2016 Toronto Film Festival where the cast, filmmakers and real life stars received a standing ovation. The film, starring David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, is directed by Mira Nair and opens in U.S. Theaters September 23, 2016.