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What you need to know about the Afrofuturism in "Black Panther"

We asked Afrofuturists what they think of the superhero film.

by Milena Mikael-Debass
Feb 13 2018, 9:18pm

A few days shy of its box-office release, “Black Panther” has already sold more advance tickets than any other Marvel film.

The buzz around the movie is spotlighting Afrofuturism, an aesthetic and perspective that reimagines the world through a black lens.

"Black Panther" tells the story of T'challa, a newly crowned king of a technologically advanced hidden kingdom. The plot offers a speculative look at what African countries could have been without colonialism. Some would call that textbook Afrofuturism.

"To me, it almost doesn't get more Afrofuturist than 'Black Panther,'" said Olalekan Jeyifous, a Brooklyn-based artist who creates Afrofuturist virtual reality films. "It's a fictional Africa, and there's spaceships, but there are also aspects that hearken back to pre-agrarian times."

Fans and critics are also hailing the film for its many firsts. "Black Panther" is one of the only superhero blockbusters to feature a mostly African-American and African cast. And its director Ryan Coogler is the first African-American to helm a Marvel movie.