By: Micaela Shambee– Editor, The Drive
Hopefully by now, you have either seen Black Panther, or are planning to go see it because the movie is ranked as the Best Movie of All Time by movie critiquing site Rotten Tomatoes (with a 97% average to boot), and has grossed over 200 million dollars at the box office.
With the overwhelming success of the movie, one should know that it has an all star cast, both male and female.
However, specifically, the female cast is impeccable.
“Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’
Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira (of Walking Dead fame) as Okoye, and scene stealing Letitia Wright as Shuri, all bring a healthy dose of strong Black Woman to the film, along with their incredible acting chops. In Essence Magazine, they recall how it feels to play their respective characters. Sydney Scott writes,
“Explaining the importance of such strong Black women in the film, Boseman said, ‘We can have really strong Black women who don’t have to be damsels in distress, who are independent and powerful, who can also fall in love at the same time.’
Bassett, who has an envious career and numerous awards under her belt including a Golden Globe, says that despite the roles she’s had the opportunity to play, royalty is rare.
‘Just to have the opportunity to portray that, image—me, a little Black girl from the Florida projects,’ she told ESSENCE. ‘Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’
She scoffs, ‘Why can’t I be?’
This isn’t our first time seeing these incredible women light up the big and small screens with their talents.
Don’t pretend you did not see What’s Love Got to Do With It or How Stella Got her Groove Back. Angela Bassett has a long string of big and small screen features and a Golden Globe to back it up. Lupita Nyong’o won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave, Danai Gurira is known for her outstanding portrayal of Michonne on The Walking Dead and Letitia Wright can be seen in Black Mirror episode “Black Museum.” (If you have not seen Black Mirror, check it out on Netflix, you will not be dissappointed).
If you didn’t know, now you know.
Did you see Black Panther? What did you think? Does the movie match its ratings? Also check out the March issue of Essence Magazine to learn more about the beautiful women of Wakanda and the amazing actresses behind them!
Stay informed, open-minded, and driven.