Its Black History Month! Black History is not only African American history, it’s history period. It celebrates the achievements, milestones, and sacrifices of Blacks who paved the way for other Blacks. It also celebrates blackness in an unapologetic way and shows appreciation to Blacks contributions.
Black History DID NOT start during slavery; it originated in Africa. Black History is not just LIMITED to just America but should be celebrated all over the world. Blacks don’t just celebrate Black History only in February. It is celebrated every day because it is a lifestyle.
Many people are unaware to why Black History Month is February. Carter G. Woodson, also known as the Father of Negro History, was a historian who realized that many books and historical reviews lacked the acknowledgment of Blacks’ contributions. He stressed the importance of Blacks having the knowledge of who they are and where they come from. Along with his Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Woodson made the second week of February, Negro History Week.
He chose this week because of the birthdays of Frederick Douglass (Feb 14) and former president Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12). The publicity of Negro Historical Week got recognition from college campuses and political leaders. In 1976, former president Gerald Ford made Black History Month official in the United States.
This year’s Black History Month is very exciting. The premiere of the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed movie Black Panther premiered in theaters on February 16. This movie is not affiliated with the respected Black Panther Party. It is a Marvel comic that was first introduced in the 1960’s. Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyongo, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, and Forrest Whitaker are starred in this movie. Ryan Coogler is the director of this movie.
The cast and the director are Marvel’s first movie to have a Black director and have feature a predominantly Black cast. According to Fandango, Black Panther is outpacing advances for all first quarter releases in its company history and is the top presellar among all superhero titles.
During the opening weekend of Black Panther, many viewers showed up and showed out. Viewers came in African attire such as dashikis and kente cloth, Black Panther costume attire, and even Black Panther Party attire. Many celebrities bought the theater for families and children to watch the movie. This movie made Marvel fans and Blacks proud to have movie with a Black superhero.
Culturally, this movie exemplifies positive representation of Blacks. It shows a king reign and how unapologetically he cares for his people and country “Wakanda”. It gave black women a platform to be portrayed as fearless and powerful making the Black man and Black woman a dynamic duo.
Black Panther connects Africa and America in a way that has never been done before. According to Variety, Black Panther grossed about 277.5 million dollars in its first few days. It is also the biggest February debut ever. It made 242 million dollars domestically during Presidents Day Weekend and is the second highest four day opening President Day weekend following Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It is the fifth highest domestic debut of all time. According to Buzzfeed, Black Panther is the biggest global debut for a predominantly Black cast and Black director, taking the title away from 2015’s Straight Outta Compton. Black Panther is currently the number one movie in the Box Office, proving that representation and diversity is fit to make a successful movie. Black Panther is hands down a cultural phenomenon.