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FEATURING STEPHANIE ABRAHAM – The latest Disney-Marvel superhero blockbuster has all the hallmarks of recent such films: breath taking scenery, exciting car chase scenes, well-timed humor, and perfectly sculpted actors in spandex.

But the film Black Panther, featuring an ensemble cast of actors from Forest Whittaker to Lupita N’yongo, is unlike anything that Hollywood has ever produced: a nearly all-black cast, a black director, a storyline that covers pan-African politics from the African Continent to urban America, tons of screen-time for powerful female characters, and, a superhero leader unlike any other.

The twitter #WakandaForever, referencing the fictional African nation of Wakanda where most of the film is set, offers a glimpse of the hunger there is not just in Black America, but the nation as a whole for stories that are centered around characters that are not white men.

The film is directed by Ryan Coogler whose credits include Fruitvale Station and Creed. Released, not coincidentally during Black History Month, Black Panther has already broken box office records just days after its release and today we’ll examine just why the film is so historic.

Stephanie Abraham is a writer and media critic, she helped found the feminist magazine make/shift and was the founding editor of the feminist magazine LOUDmouth. Her works have been published in McSweeney’s, Al Jazeera, Mizna and Bitch Magazine. She is the Pop Culture Correspondent and Film Critic for Rising Up With Sonali.

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