It’s Really Important
COURTESY OF QUORA
How important is it for comic book fans to see an African superhero and for all people to see a non-stereotypical person of color on the big screen?
Answer by Chadwick Boseman, Actor, Writer, Director; Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War, on Quora:
Seeing an African American superhero is not on the same level as seeing President Obama, let me put it that way. But it’s a similar experience for a young black boy or girl to see an African superhero, it makes them not have any boundaries in their mind about that what they can do.
There’s a reason we like superhero movies. We like superhero movies because we have an indigenous need to imagine that people have supernatural powers. Because there are certain things that we can’t deal with in our lives, and we want to have this idea that there’s somebody that could deal with it. There’s somebody that could save somebody from a building that’s about to fall, because we’ve seen the trauma of buildings fall. We see war. We see people get killed. We see trauma in our lives, so we want the idea that we could be saved by something.
Or we want to be able to tap into an ability that we have that is almost supernatural or it is supernatural. So we live through the superhero. So for a black kid to never see a black superhero, in a sense is an obstacle that cannot be conquered, things that cannot be conquered in their lives. I think it also frees everybody else up, who has only seen characters that are superheroes of a certain color. When you can see somebody that is of color, Latino, Asian, African. When you can see that it frees you from that boundary as well. So it’s exciting to me to see kids of all races see Black Panther because it’s a freeing process for everybody.