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#010: The Art and Social Politics of Marvel’s “Black Panther” (feat. Tony Reaves, Jr.) | A Leap of Doubt

In February 2018, the record-breaking film Black Panther joined the ever-growing pantheon of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and made an indelible impact on popular culture almost overnight, grossing over $1.3 billion worldwide. The movie, based on the Marvel comics created in 1966, chronicles the rise of T’Challa, the titular “Black Panther,” as the new king of the fictional and technologically-advanced hidden African kingdom of Wakanda. A stunningly rendered and beautifully-written story, Black Panther is an important and groundbreaking film with lots of potential for cultural and social consciousness-raising.

In this episode, I talk about the impact and potential of this movie with my friend and special guest, Tony Reaves, Jr. We discuss the art, politics, and social issues raised in the movie, and the moral dilemmas and questions faced by the characters within the story and how they might apply in the real world, and what makes its huge success an historic moment in film history for black identity in America and elsewhere. We also touch on the uphill battle experienced by black filmmakers in Hollywood.

Links:

Black Panther on IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1825683/

Kara Brown, “Matt Damon Interrupts Successful Black Woman Filmmaker to Explain Diversity to Her,” Jezebel, September 14, 2015, https://jezebel.com/matt-damon-interrupts-successful-black-woman-filmmaker-1730553152.

 

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The opening clip is an excerpt from the audiobook “God is Not Great” by Christopher Hitchens, courtesy of Hachette Audio. Text Copyright 2007 by Christopher Hitchens. Audio production copyright 2007, Hachette Audio. Used with permission.

The opening and ending music is “Jade” by Esther Nicholson and is used under license.