Seeing Black Panther and his amazing world of Wakanda come to life was a truly special experience for me. Growing up I had few black superheroes to look up to, which made the simplest things such as an elementary school student dressing up for Halloween a bit difficult. I was, (and still to this day), not fond of the B-list superhero and frequent tag-along sidekick Falcon, Blade is/was never really a household name due to the movie's selective audience, and Luke Cage was someone I was/am extremely fond of but both never could really identify with nor was popular enough at the time to be known who the heck I was. Although seemingly insignificant, I'll never forget the time when I was a little kid sitting around on the family iPad looking at potential costumes drooling over what I thought was the greatest Robin costume ever, but not feeling comfortable buying it because it had a white skin tone on its sleeves. Growing up, my favorite superheroes have been primarily white: Iron Man (duh), Nightwing/Robin, Batman, Spider-Man, etc. with heroes such as War Machine and Spider-Man 2099 deviating from the trend. (Miles Morales had debuted in 2011 as a tag-along.) But those characters, although characters I loved and continue to love deeply, were never truly popular in the general public and seen as nothing other than a mere variant to a previously established hero. Black Panther, who I first saw in the epic Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, changed everything. A black male with the intelligence of Tony Stark, the prowess of Captain America, with his own unparalleled skills and abilities paired with a confident, proud, unique personality and a special responsibility as king led me to can't help but love the character. But the general public was largely oblivious of this amazing character and I never sought to entertain the notion that him and Luke Cage would be brought to life one day. How wrong I was.
Thank you Marvel and your amazing cast and crew for producing such a phenomenonal, ground-breaking movie with characters little black boys and girls all over the world can look up to and be inspired by.