There are many things to love about the movie Black Panther but one reason this film is so revolutionary is it's female characters. Lupita Nyong'o plays a humanitarian spy, Letitia Wright is a technical wizard and Danai Gurira kicks butt as a ferocious warrior. These powerful, talented black women aren't just there in of service of the men, to play the girlfriend or serve as the moral conscience of the male lead. Their roles are highly independent as well as being integral to the plot. The characters they play are strong and capable, and respected for their skill and intellect. They’re proud and opinionated black women revered for their wit, prowess and sportsmanship.
Compare this to recent statistics. Women make up just a third of speaking roles in movies and 76% of all female characters are white. We are rarely central to the plot and non white characters are often written as racial stereotypes. A Geena Davis study found that 80% of movie characters with STEM jobs were male.
Movies such as Women Woman, Girls Trip, Hidden Figures and now Black Panther are disproving outdated theories of what audiences want to see. The myth of the fanboy is over. Male directors take note.
Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright