Oberlin Blogs

The Black Panther Frenzy

June 30, 2018

Jason Hewitt ’20

Oberlin embraced "Black Panther" with a TON of hype, just as the rest of the world did.

As a Marvel fan, I am proud to say that "Black Panther" is easily one of the most popular movies to come out in 2018. The world embraced this movie in a way I never thought it would. Many people who were originally uninterested in Marvel movies were excited to see Black Panther. The idea of Wakanda, a wealthy, technologically advanced African nation led by a king who is also a warrior in a bulletproof suit, is WAY too awesome to miss out on seeing. I knew that the concept would be really cool to see, but I did not believe that my fellow students would be as hype about it as I was. Sheesh, I was very wrong! Both students and faculty members at Oberlin College recognized this, and wow, they really showed out for this movie. 

I got REALLY lucky with my ticket for the movie premiere. Here's what happened with that:

I originally planned to see "Black Panther" on the Friday of opening weekend. I had my T'Challa shirt and jeans outfit ready for that specific day. I also made sure that all of my work was done for the week. That Friday was going to be a phenomenal day, no matter what happened. I just needed to make sure everything I needed to do was complete before Friday. I was grinding on Thursday, the day before I was supposed to go see the movie. Then, I received a fateful email from one of the faculty leaders in the Oberlin Africana community. I won't mention her name here, but I will say that she is the "GOAT" for what she sent me. It was an invitation to see the Thursday night showing. It gets better, though. I was able to see the movie for FREE. I replied to the invitation with a definite "Yes, thank you," and changed all of the plans I had for that night. I was going to see "Black Panther" the night it came out!? I could not believe it!

Here's how my movie experience went:

I entered the theater and saw many of my friends at the showing. I immediately realized that this movie experience was going to be even more special because of them. There was just so much love in the room, y'all. Everybody looked genuinely excited to see "Black Panther." The only "problem" I had with this was that the room was PACKED. Other than that, I had zero complaints.

The movie started, and everyone cheered. This was cool and all, but the cheering continued after every cool scene in the movie. Sure, I understood the hype. However, I missed out on some of the dialogue because I could not hear over all the yelling and screaming. With that being said, having a frenzied crowd can also be a great experience. The crowd I was with made many of the scenes even better. Most of the time, the cheering happened during the fight scenes. Cheering and fight scenes usually create a great movie atmosphere for me. So yeah, the crowd may have been a little annoying, but it did enhance the movie as well. 

And the movie itself? Well, there are plenty of reviews out there that discuss the brilliance of this movie, and my review isn't any different. As of right now, "Black Panther" is my favorite Marvel movie. The cheesy CGI at times was my only minor complaint. Other than that, it was damn near a perfect superhero movie for me.

Oberlin even had a "Winter in Wakanda" Ball!

Yes, we even held a Black Panther themed ball in honor of the premiere. The ball happened the Saturday after the movie came out. Was that a little extra? Probably. Did we care? NOPE. The leaders of the Africana community did a wonderful job orchestrating this phenomenal event. There were food, drinks, live music, and great people there. What more could I ask for? AND everybody was dressed as fresh as they could be. That night was incredible to say the very least. I still can't believe that one of my favorite Oberlin memories came from the idea of a superhero movie. (A culturally essential superhero movie, yes, but still a superhero movie at the end of the day.)

Wow, what a wonderful weekend that was. I guess Obies can be lit from time to time. Shout out to "Black Panther" for creating a frenzied atmosphere on a cold weekend in February. Oberlin became an even more enjoyable place to be because of this movie.

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