The consistently excellent film and television analysis platform ScreenPrism turned their insightful eyes to the amazingly, multi-layered use of symbolism within the blockbuster Marvel film Black Panther. The film brilliantly addressed the difficult task of maintaining the identity of a culture in the wake of colonialism, how a community carries a great deal of influence in doing so, how ancestral history was lost to a multitude of generations and how these complex issues are expressed differently for different reasons.
It’s revealed that this story is really about the far more personal and heartbreaking battle between Eric and T’Challa, both of whom we feel for immensely. One of the reasons Black Panther works so well is that Erik is a villain who’s right. His anger is justified. …T’Challa and Erik symbolize the historical debate between black leaders over whether to achieve progress through peace or aggression philosophically. T’Challa aligns with Martin Luther King Jr’s philosophy of non-violence and Erik aligns more with Malcolm X’s by any means necessary.