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Author Bhayroo, Shenid
Source Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO)
Content type Text
File Format PDF
Language English
Subject Domain (in DDC) Computer science, information & general works ♦ General collections
Subject Keyword Afrofuturism ♦ Black Panther ♦ Commodity ♦ Walt Disney Company ♦ Marvel Comic Universe ♦ Political economy
Abstract This article examines the superhero film Black Panther as a cultural commodity produced and distributed within an industrial capitalist system. The film has not only generated millions of dollars for the Disney Company, but has also stoked collective imaginations and energised the agency of audiences with its portrayal of the Afrofuturistic utopia, the kingdom of Wakanda, untouched by the ravages of colonialism and ruled by benevolent leaders endowed with superpowers. The film, is currently ranked first in terms of its lifetime gross revenues in the categories of comic book adaptation and superhero film and is the most successful of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters' films so far. Black Panther's many firsts in the superhero genre reflect its non-financial feats: first to feature an almost entirely Black cast; first top-grossing film with an almost entirely Black cast; and biggest debut for an African American director (Disney 2018a). I demonstrate that while Black Panther showcases the work of African American filmmakers, storytellers and artists, and recognises Afrofuturism narratives, the film is also a commodity that sustains the system that produced it. Recognising and establishing the connections between commodity, cultural production and economics also offers a chance to identify opportunities for counter-hegemonies and challenges to the systemic erasure of Afro-histories.
ISSN 10211497
Educational Role Student ♦ Teacher
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Self Learning ♦ Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2019-01-01
Publisher Institution St Joseph's University Philadelphia Department of English ♦ Department of Visual Arts at the University of Pretoria
Publisher Place United States of America
Journal Image & Text
Issue Number 33
Page Count 20
Starting Page 1
Ending Page 20


Source: Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO)