This weekend Marvel’s much anticipated Black Panther hits theaters and unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know the hype surrounding this blockbuster movie has been unprecedented for that of a film with an all black cast.
In honor of its release, the Carolina Panthers (whose clear connection to the movie goes no deeper than Sir Pirr, the franchise’s black panther mascot) asked artists to create unique pieces of work inspired by the film. Here’s what they came up with:
There are obvious reasons to ride the wave of a movie that has garnered the amount of attention that Black Panther has, but several fans have questioned why the Panthers organization has decided to attached themselves to a film that celebrates blackness, unabashedly discusses issues pertaining to race and unapologetically celebrates women, their power and contribution to their society.
One Carolina resident told me, “considering how much the franchise has RUN away from embracing anything black, it’s kinda insulting to see them embrace this while Richardson is paying the bills.”
Another fan said, “whole thing rings in hollow in light of the franchise’s owner.”
Some will read this and say that people are taking things too seriously; that it’s a comic book movie about fictional characters, in a fictional place and well all need to chill – which would be a valid argument if the movie didn’t address very REAL race issues in our society. And given the back-seat, look the other way stance this franchise has taken regarding the very topics this film addresses, Carolina’s acknowledgement is a nice try, but it comes off as nothing more than a Kardashian-like attempt to go viral by or “look cool” by attaching yourself to the hottest thing in the streets.