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This Video Showing What South Koreans Think of 'Black Panther' Is the Most Intriguing Thing You'll Watch Today

A new video from 'Asian Boss' shows what young South Koreans thought of 'Black Panther,' and it's incredibly eye-opening.

Black Panther is a global phenomenon. The film has shattered box office records, disproving theories that movies with predominately black casts don't perform well overseas.

Black Panther mania has touched places as far and wide as South Korea, where the film remains number one at the box office and is its highest-grossing market outside of the US. Members of the cast visited South Korea last month as part of their worldwide press run.

A new video from media outlet Asian Boss, highlights reactions to Black Panther from young South Koreans, and there's a lot to unpack in the 12-minute video.


The video gets particularly interesting when the host asks what South Korean viewers thought of the film's all-black cast, and its role in helping challenge negative perceptions about black people in the country. Their answers highlight why Black Panther is more than just another superhero film—It's singlehandedly changing how people think about race and black identity globally.

Responses ranged from lighthearted responses about how good-looking the cast is, to more critical answers about discrimination and Western storytelling—all thought-provoking nonetheless. They answer questions about the film's cast, whether or not the movie lived up to expectations, its role in challenging anti-blackness, and they even comment on Lupita Nyong'o's Korean—which according to them, is surprisingly better than the actual Korean character in the film.

"Before, the average Korean's perception of black people was not very good, because we learned from our history books that they were slaves," said one interviewees. "Now we perceive them as cool and hip, you know, very free-spirited and expressive, which is great."

"There are lots of movies that portray black as evil," said another. "But I think that through this movie, the perception of black people will improve."

The video helps open up a much-needed conversation about representation, diversity, inclusion, the prevalence of Eurocentric beauty standards and more. After seeing their first non-white superhero, many expressed hope in the possibility of one day seeing themselves reflected on the big screen through a Korean superhero.

Check out the video below.

Wakanda forever!

For more on race issues in South Korea, revisit our piece on Finding Black Girl Magic in South Korea.

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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