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Black Panther: Identity, Afrofuturism, and Representation of Superheroes

Tisna Prabasmoro, Rasus Budhyono and Teddi Muhtadin

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 27, Issue 4, December 2019

Keywords: Afrofuturism, black panther, representation, superheroes, symbolic annihilation

Published on: 18 December 2019

Representation in the media is a constant source of controversy. It shows in the fact that even though the number of superheroes appearing on network and cable television is growing, leading roles of non-white, particularly black superheroes in mainstream movies remain scanty. Though movies and culture have been postulated to have a powerful influence on how non-white viewers are perceived and how they perceive themselves, non-white characters have been severely under-represented. In the Academy Awards, nominees are often dominated by white actors and cinematographers. The article is to show how black superheroes are depicted in movies. In particular, the significance of this article is that it sheds light on the ways in which Black Panther, an African superhero, and Afrofuturism are represented in the film. It examines issues of underrepresentation and symbolic annihilation and their impacts to viewers. The article eventually argues that the increasingly diverse world is thirsty for non-white superheroes like Black Panther. Viewers deserve a superhero they can relate to from stories from their own past so that they can celebrate their historical progress and achievements and have a feeling of self-respect and dignity.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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