My 5 year old son loves superheroes like most kids his age. He is big fan of the Avengers, but I have to admit that Batman is his favorite. As much as he likes them, he does not like seeing them in the movie theatre. I think the prospect of a very dark room combined with very loud explosion is not very attractive to him yet. Also, his attention span does not allow for home to really sit thru 2 hour movie before he gets bored or needs a bathroom break (he ‘s not the only one).
So, it took me by total surprise when he said to me this week:”Why haven’t you taken me to see Black Panther?” He has seen ads for nearly every superhero and animated movie you can imagine, and this question has NEVER come up. EVER. He never even asked to see “Cars 3”, and he loves him some Lightning McQueen!
I personally think that seeing commercials for an action-filled adventure full of characters that have the same skin color as him really resonated, even if he didn’t know it consciously. Don’t get me wrong, he has absolutely no problem playing dress up as Iron Man from the Avengers or Catboy from PJ Masks. But, for the first time, I believe he could really see himself as THE superhero.
HE could be Black Panther.
HE could be the one to save the day.
HE can do cool flips off of the roofs of cars and rule a kingdom.
So, with that in mind, I would like to do my best Oscar Award-type acceptance speech, and say a few thank yous…
Thank you to Marvel for boldly making this movie and creating a vision on-screen so captivating that the commercials alone encouraged my wife to get a babysitter so we could see it as a couple (she LOVED it by the way!)
Thank you to the cast and crew for creating such an amazing-looking world and filling it with equally amazing technology, costumes, and effects while staying true to the African roots of the source material.
Thank you to the casting director for getting the national treasures known as Angela Bassett and Forest Whittaker into the Marvel Universe as well as a 91 year old woman making her first feature film appearance
Thank you to Disney for putting $1 million towards the Boys and Girls Club STEM center in Oakland, California with more cities to come including Baltimore, Chicago, Harlem, Hartford, Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and Watts.
Thank you to STAN LEE and JACK “KING” KIRBY for creating a black superhero in a time period when strong black heroes we few and far between.
Thank you to the woman in our theatre who yelled out loud with joy when (SPOILER ALERT) T’Challa was found alive, but very very cold in that bed of snow. Clearly she had not seen a Marvel movie before because pretty much everyone in the theater knew getting thrown of that waterfall was not gonna kill him since he is the star, but to hear that kind of childlike innocence and sense of surprise from an adult gave me goose bumps.
Thank you to Martin, Malcolm and the many many others who fought for our freedoms and rights. They are a reason a movie like this could happen. Hopefully it is only the beginning of a trend in Hollywood.
Thank you to the world for putting Black Panther in the Billion dollar club.
Thank you Michael B Jordan, Chadwick Boseman, and the many other black men in the movie for making want to get into better shape (Jury is still out on that happening or not)
And thank you to….(uh-oh, the music is playing so I have to stop now)
If you are wondering what happen with my son, I offered to take him out see it ASAP, but apparently he still does not like movie theatres, even with the lure of unlimited Sour Patch Kids and popcorn, so we will have to wait for the DVD or On Demand.
Maybe he will be ready for the theatre experience by the time the sequel comes out.