If it seems like everyone loves Black Panther, that’s probably because the vast majority of the movie-going public does. The 18th movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been a hit on three fronts so far: critics love it, audiences love it, and the box office take has been massive. But those are Hollywood metrics. The most interesting reactions to the film — middle schoolers going to the movie dancing with joy, Chadwick Boseman tearing up during the press tour –have all been emotional. The latest, the hashtag #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe started by Black Girl Nerds writer Kayla Sutton takes this to the next level and parents, in particular, have provided real insight.
Searching through the hashtag, it’s easy to find mothers and fathers thrilled that their children have a superhero on the big screen that not only looks like them, but embraces and celebrates African culture and African accomplishments. At their best, these short missives are about both history, pride, and the recognition of an important cultural moment. The most poignant stories from the #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe tag are really poignant and even the least interesting — not that any ought to be dismissed — make a clear case for the inevitable sequel.
These are the best explanation of the film’s importance by parents, who definitely get it and are definitely pumped for the rise of Wakanda.
— 3BC (@3BCommuter) February 15, 2018
#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe is the joy of watching it with my daughter who was born under Obama and doesn't realize there's anything special about the movie. He's just one more hero to her.
— I've Passed Through (@thecolonelmc) February 12, 2018
Black Panther means that my son sees strength, honor, and courage in a people who looks like him! It affirms him. #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe
— Shennice Cleckley (@iamshennice) February 15, 2018
#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe A dream fulfilled. Since I was 4, I wanted to see this ‘IRL’ and this is the culmination. This is too short a forum to fully express my joy, but now I have a beautiful example of life and dreams to show my daughter pic.twitter.com/Gw4sJSKgkr
— Louis Hale (@LouisHale) February 18, 2018
Ok I was asked #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe so easy!, when I see the cast, I see us! I see my daughter's hue celebrated as queens kicking butt, not overly sexualized , I see strong men royalty! I see hope for more movies, more roles that will display us in a positive light!
— Terry Jefferson (@Ladyteemonjay) February 9, 2018
— Cat Luster (@catlustrous) February 7, 2018
I'm a Dad/Father of 5 boys and 3 girls. Blacks and browns across the world are depicted in negative ways. In this movie we are powerful,resourceful, and the heroes. No longer seen as "the problem" but the fully capable of solution. #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe #upworthy pic.twitter.com/92wD447Xy9
— My Tribe of Johnsons (@MyTribejohnsons) February 7, 2018
#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe is that my son can see a person that looks like his dad not as a thug or a slave but and a king, a hero, a strong intelligent role model! Also he can see beauty in wakandan culture that is based heavily on half of his culture!
— Chris (@sircdotfeazy11) February 6, 2018
#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe My son can watch without covering his eyes & ears. He can see Black love/ Black Strength and I’m so proud
— CoSign4Sarcasm (@cosign4sarcasm) February 16, 2018
My ten year old daughter and my eight year old son are sitting at the dinner table right now srly debating the pros and cons/their own positions on whether or not Wakanda should remain hidden. lol#BlackPanther #BlackPantherMovie #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe
— Caffeinated Living (@WokeLiving) February 17, 2018
— Keith Parker (@CEOGoodwillNG) February 16, 2018
#WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe that my beautiful son, who loves superheroes, can have one that looks like him.
— Violette L. Meier (@violettemeier) February 15, 2018