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I was in tears, both as I watched the movie and as I observed Black people’s reactions, including Black Americans who so often do not have any real knowledge of their African roots and many of whom have denounced their African heritage. I watched as they became proud to be of African descent as a result of this movie. People all over the world have shown up to theaters in African attire. African-Americans struggle with identity issues because our ancestors were taken from Africa and were stripped of all African identity, including name changes, indoctrination, forced assimilation, concealment of African history. To watch a fantasy movie feature aspects of those issues within the struggle of its characters was life-changing for me. The movie has ignited conversations about racial justice, African and African-American relations, and so much more. Whether we currently realize it or not, this movie has made an impact on history.
Chris Whittaker is the Media Pastor at New Life Fellowship on the campus of Andrews University and a student at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. He is a pianist and writer and is passionate about social justice.
Image Credit: Marvel Studios / Black Panther Facebook page
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