The 15 Blackest Things About the New Trailer for Black Panther

YouTube screenshot
YouTube screenshot

1. The screen at the 0:00 mark right before the trailer started. I know black screens are standard before a film starts and after it ends, but this black screen was an extra, deeper black. A Maya and Amiri at the Schomburg black. I saw this black and immediately felt compelled to take a shot of Henny. (AND I HATE HENNY!)


2. Although the first voice you hear is from a white man, the first face you see is Chadwick Boseman’s King T’Challa with an expression saying, “Why the fuck is this white man talking? DOES HE NOT KNOW THAT THIS IS THE TRAILER FOR THE BLACK PANTHER MOVIE, NOT THE ‘WHITE MAN SAYS WORDS THAT VAGUELY MATTER TO PEOPLE’ MOVIE?”

3. At the 30-second mark, Danai Gurira’s Okoye says, “We are home”—reminding the audience that they’re about to witness some black-ass shit. And if they’re not ready to witness some black-ass shit, they need to take their not-ready-to-witness-some-black-ass-shit asses back to their wack-ass homes. And, I don’t know, go microwave some celery or something.

4. Angela Bassett’s flawless skin, which basically looks like what would happen if a Kehinde Wiley print came to life and had sex with a peach.

5. Lupita and Lupita’s hair—which would totally be the name of my fantasy football team if I gave a shit about fantasy football—basically telling T’Challa that every nigga is a star.

(Also, I’m currently having three separate conversations with three separate black women—all trying to determine exactly what they’d call Lupita’s hairstyle. One insists that it’s bantu knots, and another insists it’s a really defined twist-out. Let’s just say that Batman v Superman did not inspire these types of discussions.)

6. Okoye instructing T’Challa not to freeze and him replying, “I never freeze,” which is true because you can’t freeze if you’re already cool as fuck. You can’t freeze an ice cube, nigga.


7. Michael B. Jordan coming through like the angriest member of B2K ever.

8. My instinct to still scream, “Where’s Wallace?!” each time I see Michael B. Jordan on screen.


9. The black panthers meeting with Black Panther at the 1:12 mark, because who said black people can’t be meta as fuck, too?

10. Michael B2K’s face when he’s surrounded by all those flames at the 1:21 mark—which is the same face you make when forced to consume unseasoned and undercooked chicken at a work-retreat breakout session and the same level of heat you wish the chicken was cooked at.


11. The white man shooting that gun at the 1:27 mark, a not-so-subtle reminder that white men with guns and bad haircuts ruin everything.

12. The flip Black Panther does at the 1:43 mark, which made me Google Gabby Douglas just to see what she’s doing now.


13. Okoye’s stick maneuvering at 1:51, a callback to Danai’s “day job” on The Walking Dead and a reminder that black people (actresses included) all need side hustles.

14. The remixed version of Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” playing through the trailer, which is somewhat paradoxical, since we’re watching a televised trailer while listening to it, but blackness is somewhat paradoxical, so it’s apropos.


15. The fact that I don’t know shit about comic books—or superheroes, really, other than Batman and Superman—and didn’t even know that Black Panther existed until, like, five years ago (don’t judge me), but I’m actually sitting here today, in October of 2017, already thinking about the black-ass shit I’m going to wear to this premiere.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



That trailer was so Black, it made wypipo say, “but what about Captain America?”

This might be the first movie I wear a suit to. Gonna walk out with a plate wrapped in foil, too.

LMAO @ #7! I thought MBJ looked like Speech from Arrested Development after a month on P90x.