'Black Panther' and a brief history of Black superheroes

Angela Bassett earns second Oscar nod 30 years later for 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Stars Insider

24/01/23 | StarsInsider


'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,' the long-awaited sequel to 2018's genre-changing superhero movie 'Black Panther,' was a huge success at the box office and among critics, and now on the award show circuit as well! As the franchise moved forward following the loss of Chadwick Boseman, who played T'Challa, Angela Bassett emerged as the standout. Her performance as Ramonda, the Queen Mother of Wakanda mourning the death of her son, has been described as Oscar-worthy, and now she has the Best Supporting Actress nomination to back it up. The film also picked up four other nods for Best Visual Effects, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original Song for Rihanna and Tems' track 'Lift Me Up.' 

Bassett already took home the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for her role, making the 64-year-old the first actor ever to win a major individual acting award for a movie based on Marvel Comics. In her acceptance speech, she spoke about the impact of the loss of Boseman and said, “We have joy in knowing that with this historic ‘Black Panther’ series, it is part of his legacy he helped lead us to, we showed the world what black unity, leadership and love looks like beyond, behind and in front of the camera.” She also thanked Marvel fans for “embracing these characters and showing us so much love.”

Black Panther is known as the first Black superhero, followed by Luke Cage and Blade. Though it might not always seem like it, the enduring popularity of a character like Blade helped pave the way for more multiethnic characters in the world of comics, and even helped cement the current popularity of Black Panther.

Click on for a brief history of Black superheroes and their significance in broader pop culture.

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