Why Media Representation Is So Important
Originally published on Mar. 12, 2018 https://shsoracle.blogspot.com/2018/03/why-media-representation-is-so-important.html
With Black Panther, the latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, breaking box office records across the nation, it’s important to think of why this particular stand-alone superhero film was such a phenomenon. Since its release on February 16th caused a frenzy with fans of the Marvel Universe and otherwise, it has become vital to address the importance of representation in the media to viewing audiences.
Hollywood has remained a racial battleground since its existence — with a slight yet crucial increase in diversity in the 2017 Oscar nominees and winners.
So why is Black Panther introducing such a mania amongst audiences- more so than any other superhero film released to date? How is it single-handedly initiating cultural conversations between people of all ages?
The answer is simple but complex. Black Panther’s success should not be a surprise. With minority-led film ideas often left on the back-burner, many audiences yearn for some form of representation. When millions of people can see themselves mirrored on the big screen with a variety of roles to identify with, films are bound to have such a profound impact.
With Black Panther’s positive depiction of life on the African continent, black heroes and villains, and well-executed portrayal of human complexity, its success is well-earned, and a strong reminder that everyone’s story deserves to be told.