Grace Gipson on the Importance of Black Panther

16 Nov, 2022

Grace Gipson on the Importance of Black Panther

“‘Black Panther’ has changed the game of saying what can and does sell. It wasn’t just Black people who went to go see ‘Black Panther;’ everybody — the world — went to see it,” says Grace D. Gipson.

Grace Gipson got her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley and is a pop culture scholar and Black future feminist who studies representation around race and gender in comic books, music, film, and television.

Gipson says 2018’s hit film “Black Panther” changed the perceptions of all viewers — whether they looked like the cast or not — on everything from body image to leadership to race and gender generally.

“Black Panther” changed how Black girls and women see themselves on screen, according to Gipson, emphasizing the positive impacts of representation in fiction. The film, she says, “put #BlackGirlMagic on the map,” encouraging Black women to further celebrate themselves as leaders on social media, and redefined how Black women are personified in film, from hairstyles and costumes to roles as leaders in politics and technology.

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