Black Panther: Representation and Diversity in Media

This post was written by a student. It has not been fact checked or edited.


Representation and diversity in media have been important for a very long time. In media, especially in Hollywood diversity and representation were not important. Minority characters were in films but were portrayed by actors of white ethnicity. When minority characters were portrayed by white actors harmful stereotypes were pushed onto characters during this time. Over time the film industry and media have changed but these stereotypes were already affecting communities.

Black Panther which was released in 2018 was a stepping stool for diversity and representation in media. The movie mostly portrayed a cast of black actors where characters were presented in a very positive light. Black Panther not only uplift people of African descent but showed other minority groups that diversity and representation were possible that would show them in a good way. Black Panther also showed the media that superhero movies and other films that had diversity and representation could be blockbuster films and bring out people who may have never seen a superhero movie.

Most of all Black Panther shined a light on the black community in a positive way. For decades stereotypes in media were pushed on the black community that was not true and developed outside of media. Black Panther gave a way for the black community to show to creativity and beauty of their culture. It was also a film that was written, directed, and portrayed by the black community. This way they could have their perspective instead of someone else doing it for them.

Diversity and representation in films did come with a downside due to disagreements in media. A great example of this would be Disney's new upcoming "A Little Mermaid" in which the main character Ariel is being portrayed by a black actress when originally the character was of a white complexion. Many people believe that diversity is being forced while others believe that it is not forced and is a good way to show representation. I think that the media should create original characters that come from different communities to showcase diversity and representation instead of changing the race of characters.

Diversity and representation in media have been growing rapidly and will most likely become tremendously bigger in the future. Hopefully, every community will be able to see people who look like them in movies and shows.