A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats – “Black Panther” and Philanthropy

The success of the beautiful new film, Black Panther, has many storylines.

For one, it’s the most successful opening weekend for a movie directed by an African-American. It’s also the first superhero movie to feature a predominantly African-American cast.

It’s also both visually and narratively a beautiful multifaceted film. While it may be part of the Marvel Universe and at its most basic level, a “Superhero Movie”, thanks to its detailed storyline and complex characters, it’s certainly much more than that. It might seem bizarre to write a Global Grandmothers blog about a movie such as this but there is a nexus between the storyline and the Global Grandmothers’ mission.

One of the most intriguing plot points is the internal struggle the fictional nation of Wakanda (the Black Panther’s native country) faces on its position on foreign aid. Unbeknownst to the rest of the world, Wakanda is a very wealthy and technologically advanced nation due to its access to massive amounts of Vibranium (a fictional valuable natural resource). Over centuries, the Wakandans have maintained their luxurious way of life by avoiding any international entanglements.

T’Challa, AKA the Black Panther, played by Chadwick Boseman

Despite their national prosperity, there’s pressure bubbling up within Wakanda to support humanitarian causes around the world. But naturally, many oppose this reform, as it will lead to the secret of their riches to be revealed to the rest of the world, and, in turn, potentially affect their way of life.

Much of the movie revolves around the debate on this issue and the difficult decision that T’Challa (the King of Wakanda and the Black Panther) faces. What responsibility do fortunate citizens of one nation have to support those in another? Particularly, when those in other nations may be suffering humanitarian crises, conflict, and/or war.

Writer and Director Ryan Coogler wonderfully navigates the nuances of this prescient issue. This plotline can be seen as a commentary on global politics on one hand, but also appears to address the proper role of philanthropy among wealthier nations.

‘Black Panther’ Writer and Director, Ryan Coogler

We here at Global Grandmothers do our best to recognize how fortunate many of us are, and with this awareness, comes a responsibility to work with others around the world who are in need. This sentiment is why we support organizations like Save the Children, who work to ensure children all around the globe have a healthy start in life. Or Partners in Health, who are committed to providing healthcare to poor and marginalized communities around the globe.

Check out all the organizations we support here

The international community is only strengthened when the less fortunate around the globe are supported by those who can.  

While the phrase ‘A rising tide lifts all boats’ has often referred to domestic policies, it’s also an apt term for international development. As the world’s tide is lifted, so too are all the world’s boats.  It’s fantastic to see this powerful message showcased in a movie that so many young adults and families are bound to see.

1 reply
  1. Kate Parnes
    Kate Parnes says:

    I love the link made here between the message of a “super hero” movie and the broader action of philanthropy. How clever! I saw this fabulous movie and am telling all my friends to see it. Indeed, there is more to it than CGI. As shown in the movie, sometimes those of us more fortunate need to be jolted out of our comfort to see how we can do our part to make the world a safer, kinder place…one step (or one dollar) at a time.

    Reply

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