Bird’s Eye view of Black Panther

As the question of race in America continues to be grappled with in the news and in our lives; and even though the Hollywood juggernaut is about to be shifted by Marvel’s next movie- there are still some reflections to be shared from the movie discussion night:

About 25 Good Samaritans celebrated the movie and its portrayal of one of the first black comic book superheroes in popular culture. Father Gray led the discussion and encouraged attendees to point out biblical themes running throughout the movie, including familial strife, betrayal, heroes falling from grace, ancestral trauma, abandonment and much more (including an actual resurrection!).

A utopian society coming to terms with its place in the world and deciding to help, instead of hiding away was one of the discussion points after the movie. Underlying themes of poverty, war and oppression ran deep as well. Another theme that Good Samaritans discussed was appreciating the movie “flipping the script” on many Hollywood movies; not only by having a cast made up almost entirely of black actors; but by showing the fictional African country of Wakanda and its society flourishing, with technology and science advancements well ahead of the rest of the world.

Other discussion points revolved around the empowerment of women, who were the source of strength and protection as the warriors of Wakanda. Appreciating youth and balancing innovation with tradition was another theme, as the Black Panther’s younger sister was the head scientist of the royal family but dealt with power struggles from other factions of the city’s tribes because they felt she flouted the culture’s long-held traditions.

It was a great chance for Good Samaritans to gather together and initiate further conversations about diversity and dig deeper into how biblical themes can be found in popular culture – even movies about superheroes.” – Charlee Mitchell