The Black Panther: A Positive Black Role Model

Sidney Richardson

Chadwick Boseman is set to play Black Panther in the 2018 film. He played the character in “Captain America: Civil War” in 2016. Photo Credit / Gage Skidmore

The Black Panther is finally going to get a starring role on the big screen. The king of the fictional country of Wakanda has already made a cameo in the recent blockbuster “Captain America: Civil War.” In the movie, the hero was played by up-and-coming actor Chadwick Boseman and throughout the movie sought to avenge the death of his father, who was killed in the beginning of the movie, causing T’Challa to rise to the throne.   
The Black Panther, aka T’Challa, is a very important hero both in the Marvel Universe as well as in African American history. He was the first super-powered black hero to be featured in mainstream comics, debuting in July of 1966. His origin story and background is one that can be looked up to and admired by children of all races, but can provide a positive role model in media for black children everywhere.
The Black Panther can be looked up to for a variety of reasons. T’Challa is widely regarded as the most wealthy hero or villain in either of the major comic universes (Marvel or DC). His estimated worth is around $500 trillion. Wakanda, the remote African country that he is king of, is an advanced technological power in the world and controls the world’s store of the precious metal Vibranium.
Vibranium is a fictional metal, the most valuable metal in the Marvel Universe, most commonly known as the material that comprises Captain America’s infamous shield. Part of what makes Black Panther so powerful as a hero is that his sleek black suit is lined with the super strong metal, making it bulletproof and extremely durable despite its light design. As chief of the panther clan, the Black Panther is privileged enough to be able to eat a special heart-shaped herb which grants him superhuman senses, super strength, speed, agility, stamina, durability, healing and reflexes. He also enjoys a connection with the Wakandan Panther God and a wealth of knowledge passed down by previous Panthers.
Another reason that he is such a positive role model for children is that he is also known to be one of the most intelligent heroes in the Marvel universe, rivaling the intellects of minds like Bruce Banner and Tony Stark. He has a PhD from the prestigious Oxford University to boot.
The movie itself will make waves as the cast is made up of 90 percent African or African- American actors. Headliners include Boseman as T’Challa, Michael B. Jordan as Kilmonger, Forest Whitaker as Zuri and Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia. So many top billed actors have signed on for this project and the excitement is growing.
The stage was set in “Captain America: Civil War” where the Black Panther was portrayed as a righteous and relentlessly powerful hero. It left fans hungry to see more of this young hero. Fans will have to wait about a year, as the release for “Black Panther” is slated for early 2018.