I am immediately dubious of the black image presented to me in popular media. The first thought when I heard the name of the movie was that it was selling black to black people ( Or more specifically selling black protest to black people). But there were many parts of the movie that I enjoyed and found quite progressive. The role of women in the film was particularly exciting to see. It depicted strong (not infallible) and smart women playing crucial parts in the film. It was amazing to see armies of women fighting male oppression, fighting stereotypes of female intelligence, and investigate the issues in patriarchy in general.
Though I have one large hang up about the film. Michael Jordan’s character resembled everything I hated about the black image in movies. He was the only African American (I realize in the film he was a direct descendant of the fictitious African country wakanda but for semantic purposes he is American because that is where he lived his life). And he was also the most belligerent, violent, morally dubious character of the film. Jordans character first set a tone of what the filmmakers thought black people felt about there situations. I think it was amazing to point out the oppression of black Americans but the lifestyle Michael Jordan created for himself was not about restitution but about the perceived black image. Violent, victims of there circumstance, destined to succumb to a life of violence that already surrounds them. Now many African Americans face issues of violence but this character flattened the conversation into a single problematic man. He was a mass murderer, essentially using his black rage to punish anyone who crossed him. For a movie called black panthers it brought up interesting assumption about black militance.