Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Director Ryan Coogler sat down with NBA legend and contributing Hollywood Reporter writer Kareem Abdul Jabbar for a revealing discussion about the cultural significance of his comic book superhero movie Black Panther, which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday (Feb. 16).

The 70-year-old retired Lakers star attempts to understand the outpouring of emotions for a movie based on a comic book character.

“It’s a little like witnessing the unveiling of an enormous statue on the public square — with the public square being the world — of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela dressed in bright dashikis,” writes Abdul-Jabbar.

“This is an unprecedented global rallying for something that doesn’t include Beyonce. All this fuss over a superhero movie?”

Abdul-Jabbar asked Coogler to explain in his own words why he thought there was so much anticipation for this film.

Coogler replied:

“The concept of an African story, with actors of African descent at the forefront, combined with the scale of modern franchise filmmaking, is something that hasn’t really been seen before. You feel like you’re getting the opportunity of seeing something fresh, being a part of something new, which I think all audiences want to experience regardless of whether they are of African descent or not.”

Abdul-Jabbar notes that, “if you’re white, you’ll leave with an anti-“shithole” appreciation for Africa and African-American cultural origins. If you’re black, you’ll leave with a straighter walk, a gratitude for your African heritage and a superhero whom black children can relate to.”

Coogler added that, he hopes movie-goers will get a little bit more of an appreciation for the real Africa.

“I hope they take out of it a sense of enjoyment [but also] something that is not disposable, you know? From my perspective, things that are associated with the continent of Africa are often things that are associated with triggering the feeling of shame inside of me when I see them. If this film can give people who are of African descent a feeling of pride, even in the theater, that’s a bonus I wouldn’t even be able to comprehend as an artist.”



  • Waya Hedia

    Kareem isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack. Why he writes for THR is unknown.

  • You Could Never

    Before folks bring their non-reading selves on here bashing Kareem this was a POSITIVE interview. He is in support of the movie. So maybe…actually read it before bashing him based on the title.

  • You Could Never

    Bc he has a degree in history like a whole lot of other journalists. If he were a WHITE history degree journalist/reporter, I bet nobody would say shit or question it

  • Nophace

    You know you’re asking too much from some folks right?

  • You Could Never

    Way too much

  • Dowoop

    This movie could have been set on Mars and i would have gone to see it just to support all the black folks in there. Has nothing to do with African pride for me. Thats like saying The Jungle Book evokes pride in Indians.

  • Nophace

    I’m hoping it continues shatter all kinds of numbers. However, where was the hype over other black films that came out and were focused
    on and directed by black ppl like Marshall (Reginald Hudlin), Sleight
    (J.D Dillard) & Love Beats Rhymes (RZA) just to name a few?!? I’m just saying, our ppl get very selective when it comes to supporting their own!

  • justlooking

    I am SO EXICTED.

    ByE Luke Skywalker

    Black Panther is OUR STARWARS

  • Dimwit

    You’re talking shit. Have you ever seen him on Celeb Jeopardy? Or heard him speak? He’s very bright. You are the dimwit.

  • You Could Never

    I saw 3 out of the 3 (2 in the theater). I tend to watch what I like or what my family likes. Same as with any movie bc movies in a traditional theater format, are not cheap. So selective based on that. I am no comic fan. But my sister is a huge comic fan so I am going to see this with her. Also, Love Beats and Rhymes was not released where I am. I support based on what is in my area as well.

  • ShelbyMoore

    Right…I came in here guns blazing…good thing I read first. LOL.

  • Quitedeliteful

    I think I remember hearing something about Sleight (and now I’m gonna watch it this weekend). Did these films get marketed really well? I haven’t seen the trailer for Panther but of course I’ve heard all the buzz about it. Maybe it’s not selective supporting maybe films aren’t being pushed as hard as this is being pushed…

  • iWasteTime

    Whoooo
    That caption was click bate.
    We’re excited. Got Jr toys already.
    I can’t wait for him to put black panther next to spider, super & batman on his shelf.

  • iWasteTime

    I just fonted that caption was click bate … lol

  • Quitedeliteful

    (snicker…)

  • Ms.Vanilla

    The whole article was great. Sandra did her job which was to throw shade.

  • Blue

    Fake news. I’m looking forward to this movie.

  • Blue

    That’s a hell of an uber ride. I agree though!

  • Ms.Vanilla

    Did you read the article? Sandra tricked us with her caption. It’s not fake news this time.

  • Dowoop

    I read it and i wouldnt bash him BUT he compares the movie to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela dressed in bright dashikis!!! A fictional story with fictional struggles does not compare.

  • imright

    i need Ryan to take some public speaking classes before his next interview ?? good dude tho ??EXCELLENT director, goin places !! ??

  • Yoni7

    Sounds to me like he’s happy about it too. :yeshrug:

  • SumthinSweeter

    She sure the f#ck did! I’m like wtf Kareem acting brand new! Smmfh. Click bait!

  • Dowoop

    I dragged my husband to see Fences simply to support. This movie i am genuinely excited about though.

  • You Could Never

    As a homage. The comparison was in homage.

    “It’s a little like witnessing the unveiling of an enormous statue on the public square — with the public square being the world — of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela dressed in bright dashikis. It’s an homage to who we were, a celebration of who we are and an inspiration for what we hope to become.”

  • You Could Never

    Sandra did not use click bait until way far into HER write up. The title of this post…is the same title of the article. If anyone used click bait it was the original source. THR.

  • Yoni7

    RIGHT! I was thinking like “Soon as somebody misreads the first sentence wrong (or with attitude), they are going to try and go in.”

  • You Could Never

    Egg SACK LEE. And I am too big of a sports fan to let folk drag Grandpa Kareem up and through unfairly lol.

  • Waya Hedia

    I’ve read the poo he writes for THR. It’s pretty poor. So no, I don’t watch Celeb Jeopardy. LOFL.

  • SumthinSweeter

    It’s misleading regardless so maybe personally I wouldn’t have reposted it that way. But to each their own ?

  • Trey

    The police will be out in full force this weekend….

  • You Could Never

    This Sandy we tambout lmaooooo

  • Yoni7

    I tend to watch what I like
    _______________

    THIS! Period.

  • SumthinSweeter

    TRUE *in my 2Chains voice*

    ??

  • You Could Never

    I certainly hope so. To protect all movie goers from crazy white terrorists with hate in their hearts who tend to frequent theaters, schools, and churches.

  • Bonita

    Although I won’t be seeing it, I hope the film does exceptionally well. I was never a fan of comic books as a kid, and I just can’t get into movies like this.

  • Trey

    ummm yea that too but they will be out for another reason….

  • Kayke

    Where was the hype over the black panther comics. Where was the hype for the black panther series Netflix had in 07. It shattering numbes means nothing other than black folks took the bait. Police shootings, H&M, everyday some yt persons racism is highlighted….Black folks have been bursting at the seams with agitation….giving this movie the priority and push …as if we are saying “seeeeeee, look what we did”. But this movie isn’t ours. I can see the trickle up effect and we’re not at the top of it. I’ll watch it on my couch like I do all new movies.

  • You Could Never

    A man who has written 14 books is a poor writer that publishers… just keep on publishing huh? Whale OKAY.

  • TVJunkie

    Promotion and general interest in seeing them or not. I’ve saw the 3 you named tho!

    OAN: I remember asking 3 people to go see “Proud Mary” to support. I mean there aren’t any black female lead, action movies. They were like “nah”

  • Dowoop

    I would hope not. Black Panther as a homage is ridiculous as the story-line is all about infighting and his own countrymen betraying him and trying to dethrone him out of greed. I really hope that is not something black people aspire to become.

  • Yoni7

    Funniest meme.
    Black Panther will gross millions.
    The concession stand? $4 nationwide.

    #facts

  • Rayne

    I’m going to the matinee. Ion wanna be nowhere in Chicago at night.

  • Dowoop

    Girl i saw the trailer in August of 2017. When the trailer ended and it said Feb 2018 i was like WTF!

  • Dimwit

    Someone who’s only versed in the likes of THR would make your asinine statement. His many appearances on Celeb Jeopardy show his breadth and depth of knowledge, so you sound like the fool saying he’s not bright. Kareem Abdul Jamar is known for being a brilliant man. Like I said, you’re talking shit.

  • Yoni7

    I tried to go to the matinee and they played me. Had all the IMAX and Dolby shows playing during that hour. I don’t need all the bells and whistles to see the movie. I just want to see it. So I purchased the STANDARD tix. LOL

  • MookieFly

    Dammit I got tricked by a title again. You getting good Auntie.

    I’m still going to see the movie tonight. Bought tickets, outfit, and everything. How do y’all feel about people dressing up in traditional garb?

  • JRock

    Off topic. Ciara finally showed a picture of her daughter. Her a cutie pie looking like her daddy.

  • SweetTEE

    I think people showing up in traditional garb will be a beautiful sight to see.

  • Vonn

    Sleight wasn’t marketed well. It wasn’t in the big theaters for long. Once I found out about it, I had to see it at an artsy fartsy theater.

  • Ryan
  • Ryan
  • You Could Never

    “It’s an homage to who we were, a celebration of who we are and an inspiration for what we hope to become.”

    the story-line is all about infighting and his own countrymen betraying him and trying to dethrone him out of greed.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    about infighting and his own countrymen betraying him trying to dethrone him out of greed.: We have been fighting one another as a RACE since before we got here. Natives were in cahoots with the white man to enslave their fellow blacks as well. Got here and had colorism based on who is lighter and who got better treatment. Colorism is still around as are a whole lot of other inter-race issues… and we are still downing each other PRESENTLY to dethrone each other at church, school, work and other social scenarios. Out of greed.

    inspiration for what we hope to become: better and stronger in light of it all.

  • Look@m3

    Just the back right…did she show the front of her although from the back she looks like a doll!!

  • pecancandy

    Context!

  • Look@m3

    lol….sure will so we better drive careful and no cross over that white line…

  • Waya Hedia

    He’s not ‘brilliant’. Celeb Jeopardy isn’t any real indicator, That’s a crackup! But yeah.. his columns are amusing to say the least.. real hard hitting stuff.

  • ~~eb

    DEAD! I was thinking something similar!

  • Dahl
  • Monique B

    It was fine when he was in a Bruce Lee pic. SHUT UP N*****!!

  • You Could Never

    Drive slow homie…DRIVE SLOW.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcdQoVGKXd8

  • HoneyyGoodMoneyy_
  • U gon learn today

    He uses those analogies to describe the emotions and reaction of the people to this movie, he’s not actually saying that the movie compares to the movements of Rosa Parks, MLK, etc.

    Anyway, in my personal opinion people are doing entirely too much in hyping this movie…there are even some planning to dress up as the characters when they go to theaters. I am excited to see it myself and am thrilled that the movie is going to do well at the box office, and what this translates to for the black actors involved. But at the same time, people need to stop acting like this film is the coming of Jesus…it’s literally just too much.

  • Dimwit

    His articles in the THR don’t prove he isn’t. Give him an IQ test of stfu.

  • U gon learn today

    Can you please post this reminder on every thread? Because people literally don’t care to know the facts about anything, all they need is a headline to trigger their pre disposed impulse that to talk ish at all times.

  • shalynneb1

    Say louder so the back of the blog can hear you.

  • JRock

    No, you can see her full face. Go to this link and you can see her full face. Looks just like Russell. Good hair and all. She’s adorable.

    https://www.instagram.com/purejoyrussciara/?hl=en

  • Waya Hedia

    Right.. but Celebrity Jeopardy does.. got it. LOL!

    A test of stfu? Sounds like a good idea.

  • Chocolate Bliss

    I say dress all out!!!! wear your finest!! Why should we not celebrate seeing ourselves on screen in a positive light, after so many centuries of being prisoners in this country. It’s who we are as a people. We sang, dance and laugh out loud. Never be ashamed of that.

  • Chocolate Bliss

    Amen! Lord please protect us from the white devils this weekend

  • You Could Never

    Some folks are ridiculing dressing up period. In traditional garb. As some of the characters. Yet… White folks and their beloved damn Star Wars AND Star Trek do it all the damn time. I say do it. Proudly. And #FukkFolks2018

  • Ms.Vanilla

    whites stood in line for days dressed as star wars characters when the new star wars movie came out. They were camping out by the entrance. No one cared about that.

  • U gon learn today

    If this post were about what white people were doing, then I would say the same thing. I don’t need to acknowledge white people to give my opinion about this. In either case, its over the top fotter to be doing all of that just to go see a movie in my opinion.

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    No matter the criticism, Ci looks Happy!! Fools can stop being so mad…Ci is WINNING!

  • BUMMER!

    Oh, he still mad after that YT girl burned his house down.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    You are right. You don’t have to acknowledge whites to make your point. I just hate the fact that blacks are always faulted for doing things that others are applauded for. It seems like a double standard. But you are right it’s ridiculous all the fanfare this movie is getting.

  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    No comment. I am off to find Kelly’s hair piece.

  • Fire & Ice

    That baby is a cutie pie ?. Well that kills the gossip that she was disfigured or something was wrong with her ?

  • JRock

    Yep, a little cute doll baby.

  • SpiceGirl

    POC don’t support one another…case in point with Kareem

  • Applebootay

    Yall not getting it….SANDRA ROSE …..edited his comment to appear that he was not supporting and/or bashing…it was the opposite…Can’t y’all see what she did? If you read the entire post…the entire comment….in the context in which he put it…..he’s actually right…We smarter than this….c’mon people!!

  • Applebootay

    But that’s not what happened here.

  • Applebootay

    Did you actually read the entire post and see how SR flipped it?

  • Applebootay

    That’s what I keep saying….I guess people don’t really read anymore…

  • Applebootay
  • Applebootay

    Hey Chi town….I’m here too!

  • Applebootay

    Why not take someone, kids, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, cousins….just support it, you don’t have to be “into”…how many all white movies have you supported only to go and it was some straight BS? Just go support or buy a ticket and give it someone who does….

  • Applebootay

    She didn’t trick me….she pissed me off tho…so unnecessary….

  • Renee26

    LMAO

  • Renee26

    Thanks for sharing!! So cute…I love this family

  • Renee26

    LMAO

  • holmesa925

    I don’t think some of you are reading the ENTIRE article. Kareem is VERY supportive of the film. Here are 2 quotes from the article that were clearly missed by some of you:

    ““It’s a little like witnessing the unveiling of an enormous statue on the public square — with the public square being the world — of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela dressed in bright dashikis,” writes Abdul-Jabbar.”

    “Abdul-Jabbar notes that, “if you’re white, you’ll leave with an anti-“shithole” appreciation for Africa and African-American cultural origins. If you’re black, you’ll leave with a straighter walk, a gratitude for your African heritage and a superhero whom black children can relate to.”’

  • klwbaby
  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    You must be new here? My readers don’t read my posts. It’s frustrating. ?

  • Rayne

    Hey cuz ? ?

  • MookieFly

    Hmm I understand some of the criticisms but also some of the advantages. From the comic fan perspective, a good percent of the people going all out know little about Black Panther, let alone have never been in a comic store and mostly likely won’t after. Half the people believe Wakanda is a real place in Africa. Like a Asian person dressing up in a kimono to go see Mulan.

    From the other side, obviously the amount representation on screen for black actors is empowering, especially with a story that highlights Africa is a positive tone without it being white-savior preachy. We showing support the only way we know how: turn up!

    Honestly I see both sides but encourage people to dress how they feel

  • Look@m3

    Omg…thank you. She is soooo adorbs. Is this another one of ciara page?

  • Bonita

    It’s just me. All my nieces and nephews live in other states.

  • Ms.Vanilla

    I know right!

  • Bonita

    I honestly haven’t stepped foot in a movie theatre in at least 5 years. It’s so weird. I just don’t like going anymore. I prefer to sit in the comfort of my home and watch movies.

  • Applebootay

    Hey Girl Hey!!!

  • Applebootay

    But I already cleared that up anyway…..so you not reading the comments….just like they aint reading the posts….LOL

  • MookieFly

    Yes it’s always beautiful to see us doing the damn thing

  • Applebootay

    I get it…I don’t go as much as I use to either because its expensive and you can stream everything nowadays….but its movies like this that’ll bring me out my comfort zone…..

  • Bonita

    Plus you don’t know what kind of critters people are bringing with them to the theatre. Dang roaches, bedbugs . . . I can’t do it anymore. lol Luckily my king prefers to watch movies at home too.

  • Mama Dee’s Wig Maker

    I see it tonight! I can’t wait. I have my all black on…Its gonna be a black out up in that theater.

  • ZRoJoTheLezBeyond

    That’s gonna be my oldest son and me, too on Saturday!

  • Shira Harding-James

    We’re supposef to read every comment before commenting?

  • Shira Harding-James

    People sweetheart don’t support each other…not just POC ?????

  • Shira Harding-James

    Hair sisters.com

  • puppylove

    You must not be familiar with comic book based movies. Lotta folk dress up as batman when those movies come out.

  • SpiceGirl

    truth….

  • Trey

    lol @ users reading the labels

  • holmesa925

    Next time I’ll be sure to do a thorough analysis of the comments of my peers before responding. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e3fbd35e7c3efc7391ecbaa6e4408651c159a650dd5e0c0fda8b911a1ed78bb5.jpg

  • KcoolMuziq

    NEVER Approach Kareem at the airport…

  • Cannelle

    Uh oh, what happened?

  • Enoughsaid2020

    Some people have very small minds, and don’t see the impact of certain things. Looking forward to seeing the movie tonight!

  • Enoughsaid2020

    Some people have very small minds, and don’t see the impact of certain things. Looking forward to seeing the movie tonight!

  • Applebootay

    LOL

  • Applebootay

    It was like the very last one under hers but I was also being facetious. Chill

  • Gina7169

    Bwahahaha

  • Shira Harding-James

    I am chilling ? I was being facetious right on back. Trust me I recognize what you were doing….just making fun. Now You chill lady lol

  • ZZZ
  • Waya Hedia

    I think he’ll probably try to frisk you.

  • Waya Hedia

    Equating a MOVIE to any of those people is one symptom of a diseased mind. IT IS JUST A MOVIE for cryin’ out loud.

  • http://ebonynsweet.com Ebony N’ Sweet

    He sound like a old crab

  • blazewon22

    Saw it, loved it, will go see it again. #nospoilers

  • holmesa925

    Love your sense of humor!!

  • Connie

    We extra! So damn what! extra seasonings, extra music, extra dress up! #FukkFolks2018

  • DramaFiend94

    but my question is why the hell not? when other movies are promoted you never see this type of shade! why not say something positive.

  • Daryl Campbell

    I’m with Kareem. UNINTRESTED!

  • MRiGOThim

    Ryan Coogler <3

  • Applebootay

    Ok, ok. I’m chilling too….Queens don’t swing if you know what I mean….I love my peoples! LOL

  • Shira Harding-James

    Yes yes I do! Love mine too!