The Pioneer

Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is deeply rooted in the Bay Area

Shyra Gums,
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The highly anticipated film, Marvel’s “Black Panther,” is currently the sixth most anticipated film by comic book readers, according to ComicBook.com. It is also reported by Variety to be surpassing all superhero movies in advance ticket sales. With the film set to released on Friday, Feb. 16, it is already giving the Black community a lot to be proud of. Despite the boycotts and preconceived critiques of the film, there are major accomplishments set in stone, specifically for the Bay Area.

The film is directed by Oakland native, Ryan Coogler, who made his huge debut into the film industry with his directing role for “Fruitvale Station,” the story of Oscar Grant, starring Michael B. Jordan. For “Black Panther,” he has brought on Bay Area drummers to join a team of West African drummers to play for the film’s background music. What also makes the debut of this film hit more close to home is that the “Black Panther” soundtrack is produced by Kendrick Lamar and Top Dawg Ent. and features Bay Area artists SOB X RBE from Vallejo, and Sacramento artist, Mozzy.

On Jan. 29, the cast and crew held a purple carpet premiere event in Los Angeles with many people dressed in traditional African attire in celebration of the upcoming release. Chinaka Hodge, a highly accomplished screenwriter, director and artist from Oakland shared her experience at the purple carpet event and described it as a “beautiful evening of Blackness” with major power players being present. Hodge also gave positive remarks about the feeling of the film characterizing Oakland, as well as reaching the masses as a superhero film that is still rooted in communal power. “It is marketed as a Black male superhero movie, but to me is about Blackness as a superpower,” said Hodge. “It’s going to allow us to have a shared pallet to open a conversation about Blackness.”

Hodge also has experience working with Ryan Coogler, and she shared what it was like being apart of his team. “It’s like working with a really great football coach,” said Hodge. “He brings the spirit to the team.”

She also said how Coogler does a really good job of making sure he gives back to the community. “Ryan is really good about making community. He makes sure all qualified people from the Bay Area are given a shot.” With the release of the film being right around the corner, Hodge is guaranteeing all excited fans and artists that the movie will make people hungry to create more.

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Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is deeply rooted in the Bay Area