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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 23rd February 2018 > The Road to Wakanda

The Road to Wakanda

A brief history of modern black superheroes, from Paul Robeson to Black Panther

MOVIES

JOHN ROONEY/AP PHOTO; PREVIOUS SPREAD: LEFT: GETTY [9]; ALAMY [7]; MARVEL STUDIOS; THE CW [3];

Photo illustration by GLUEKIT

JASON LAVERIS/FILMMAGIC/GETTY

TIMBERLAKE BACKLASH 101

A forner king of pop faces the media music

EVEN BEFORE IT HIT THEATERS ON FEBRUARY 16, BLACK PANTHER was on track to be one of the biggest superhero movies ever, thanks to record levels of advance ticket sales. But as the first entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to feature a lead black superhero (he first appeared in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War), the film has a significance that extends beyond the box office. “You can connect to a character that doesn’t look like you, but there’s an added bonus here for people of color,” the film’s director, Ryan Coogler, told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Representation is something that can be very powerful.”

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