Sample Cultural Studies Paper on Cultural Identity in the Black Panther

Black Panther is an American-produced film that bases its context and content on Wakanda’s African –based kingdom. Although the film is more of superheroes, Tre (2018) opines that it is a rich black culture presentation. The exploration in more profound dimensions of the black culture in most films is not sufficient, and thus the production of the Black Panther proved a success as it unveiled the unique practices among the race of the black people. The rich culture is from different African contests, and it reflects the abandoned ways of life full of value and free from the influence of other cultures (Duncan and Pamela, 2019). The diversity of the Black Panther is a unique manifestation of the peaceful co-existence of people. Black Panther has been successful and more than a heroic film that addresses culture and diversity among the black race.

The film, Black Panther, is a collection of all-star black talent directed by Ryan Coogler. Although there are casts from other races, the majority behind the scenes and the camera constitutes African origin actors and actresses (Lynsey and Yomi, 2018). The majority of black casts indicate its purpose of addressing the culture and diversity of the black people. The film reflects the Wakanda Kingdom’s black citizens’ current practices under the reign of King T’Challa. Further, the Wakanda Kingdom’s technological advancement indicates the culture’s future (Malia, 2018). For instance, the improvement of arrow-making technology and bullet-proof shields where warriors use them in battle reflects the ancient and the current practices of some African communities. Some communities in Africa use arrows and bows defense. According to Tsitsi (2019), the film celebrates both the African and African-American traditional and modern political, social, cultural, and economic settings. In this case, identity, such as mode of dressing, language, and food, is the basis of uniqueness in the Kingdom of Wakanda.

Cultural Fronts in the Black Panther

The production of significant films and news that features black culture identifies people from Africa from a different perspective as that of the Black Panther. Some casts are portrayed as drug lords, assassins, and robbers while forgetting to highlight the Africans’ positive part (Tsitsi, 2019). However, the Black Panther has brought into light the real representation of black people through multiple cultural activities. In this way, the Black Panther’s backwardness and chaotic picture of the black people have been erased (Meredith, 2018). Therefore, the beautiful skyscrapers, spaceships, and racing trains in the Wakanda Kingdom have brought a refreshing view of the African identity.

Several films produced by Marvel are in imaginative planets and spaces such as Guardian of the Galaxy. However, the Black Panther‘s set-up is at the heart of a thriving black community representing beauty and collective ingenuity (Tre, 2108). The film manifests black empowerment to those individuals starved of the fundamental aspect of African culture.

According to Duncan and Pamela (2019), the Wakanda Kingdom showcases a series of essential values such as hair design and styles not observed in other films. The African types are specific, and they address the black aesthetic. According to an interview by the New York Times with Camille Friend, the Black Panther‘s hair design announced a black moment where people are proud and identify with the dark complexion.

The film’s costumes are unique, and they instill the identity and pride of the people involved. In an interview with NPR, the head of costumes, Ruth Carter, indicated that the mode of dressing depicts a community that is independent of Western influence (Duncan and Pamela, 2019). According to Carter, the costume reflects Kenya’s lives, South Africa, and Namibian’s way of life. She further indicated that the outfit shows the richness in cultural diversity in Wakanda Kingdom (Duncan and Pamela, 2019). The film allows trying some of the modes of dressing and celebrating the black identity that has failed to prevail in modern media platforms.

The cultural reasons behind the Black Panther production are to influence and encourage the exploration of African history while recognizing the ability of the people. In this way, educators will have adequate knowledge when teaching and explaining the African culture (Meredith, 2018). Also, people residing in other parts of the world and America have a reference point to counter-check their identity and engage in personal reflections. The black people have identified their position in world politics and determine what liberation looks like (Tsitsi, 2019). For instance, Erik Killmonger’s stay in California poses a different experience from that in Wakanda, thus helping him understand the meaning of real liberation.

The type of society represented by the Wakanda Kingdom is free from the influence of both technology and culture. The kingdom has built a self-sustaining system that helps people maintain their cultural values (Jamil, 2019). The sustaining systems are, however, under threats from outside forces. The reason for such risks is that the Wakanda System has perfected their mode of living to surpass that of other regions, and thus outsiders are willing to learn such ways of life at all costs (Lynsey and Yomi, 2018). The experience of the outside world after the Wakanda Kingdom agreed to open up for interactions is overwhelming. The people out of Wakanda are eager to learn the Wakanda Kingdom’s cultural values while taping most of the land’s technology.

                                                            Conclusion

The Black Panther is a unique film that has given an ideal identity to African origin people. Although the film reflects the future in technology, the central theme, culture, has been presented in a modern and respectable way. In this case, people from African origin are proud of the film as it gives out the positive aspect of blacks’ values. From costumes, transport to defense mechanisms, the Black Panther has addressed the Africans’ past, present, and future. The film has provided an oasis of culture to the black viewers and thus assists in the self-realization process.

 

References

Duncan, O. & Pamela C. M. (2019). More than just a homecoming: the reception  of Black   Panther in Kenya, Safundi, The Journal of South African and American Studies, 20:1,    18-21.

Jamil, S. (2019). “The Revolutionary Power of Black Panther.” Time 100.             https://time.com/black-panther/

Lynsey, C., and Yomi, K. (2018). “Marvel’s Black Panther is a Broad Mix of African             Cultures.” Quartz Africa. https://qz.com/africa/1210704/black-panthers-african-           cultures-and-influences/amp/

Malia, J. (2018). “Exploring African Culture in Black Panther.” University News.             www.Info.umkc.edu

Meredith, W. K. (2018). “Event Examines Cultural Impact of Black Panther and Wonders of     Wakanda.” Clark Now. www.clarknow.clarku.edu

Tsitsi, J. (2019). Fan mail: what Wakanda means to Zimerican me, Sandi? The Journal of         South African and American Studies 20:1, 30-32,             https://doi.org/10.1080/17533171.2019.1552352

Tre, J. (2018). “Black Panther is a Gorgeous, Groundbreaking Celebration of Black Culture.”         Vox Media. www.vox.com