There is a lot of hype surrounding the movie Black Panther and this week the television show Black Lightning premiered. Black Lightning had a large premiere audience and the Black Panther has set a record for pre-order tickets sales. I am sure if the Nielsen television rating systems will accurately illustrate the success of Black Lightning but through social media we the show was being viewed and talked about by a large audience.
These shows feature a predominately Black cast, the characters are people of wealth, highly educated and/or of high moral character. I have witnessed several complaints or negative comments regarding the movie Black Panther. A few of the things I have read is the movie was not filmed in African, this argument is being made because the Black Panther movie takes place in a fictitious country in Africa called Wakanda. My response to that is SO WHAT, there are films that are supposed to take place in New York City, but they are filmed in Canada. Then there is this rumor that Black feminists are calling for a boycott of the movie because one of the actors Michael B. Jordan is dating a white woman. I said this is a RUMOR because I can not believe this to be true, people would try to derail a major movie with a black cast that will be a stepping stone for greater things to come because one person is dating a white woman. You would want to cause harm to several people career because of one person’s dating choice. I also hear people saying we do not need Hollywood, we can make our own movies. This is my opinion, who is WE because many of the people making this statement will not attempt to make a movie, they want someone else to do it. And when someone does make their movie, with as little as help as possible from Hollywood people complain about the movie he or she has made. Black people are not monolithic, we can try to gain more power in Hollywood while others create a separate Black Hollywood.
Black people have been marginalized in this country for over 400 years it is going take some time to overcome that 400-year head start. The Black Panther movie and Black Lightning televisions shows are stepping stones in a greater cause. We can not build anything if someone keeps tearing down what has already been built. The success of these shows will open the door for other shows with a black cast to get made regardless of how you feel about these black people who are actors will benefit.