T-minus 10 days until Black Panther hits movie theaters, and the buzz is still more than going strong. Presale tickets have gone through the roof, first reviews have been insane and have me giddy with anticipation, and the movie is currently certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with a clean 100 percent rating from critics.
Black Panther is obviously more than a movie, with the hashtag #WhatBlackPantherMeansToMe now trending across the U.S. on Twitter.
The hashtag was started by Kayla Sutton, the director of online marketing for Black Girl Nerds, who said that she came up with the idea after speaking with her son—who has been reading the comics—on Monday.
“As a young black male with autism, I wanted to know what this movie meant to him. It got me thinking about the impact this movie is going to have on so many. And how much it means to us internally at Black Girl Nerds and to me personally as a black woman,” Sutton told The Root in an email. “This film is so unapologetically black, and growing up on the outside of the nerd community as an ‘other,’ to have a film filled with people that look like me and my family is the most amazing gift.”
And thus the hashtag was born.
“The film Black Panther is a game changer for everyone. For the first time, we are seeing black women as action figures (not dolls) with Disney merchandising and a film that will cause a trigger effect in a profound way in how we see our superheroes,” Jamie Broadnax, the founder and editor-in-chief of Black Girl Nerds, said in an email. “The impact this film is already having on young kids of color is amazing. Between sky-rocketing pre-sale tickets, private screening events and trending hashtags, the support around this film have been incredible to watch.”
I can’t help agreeing, as has everyone who has chimed in under the hashtag to express their pride, joy and unwavering support.
I, for one, am thoroughly convinced that Black Panther will forever change the landscape of how films are handled. Black stories matter. Black movies matter. Black filmmakers matter. Black directors matter. Black producers matter. Black actors matter. I could go on and on.
But you don’t have to take my word for it: