One phenomenon that has warmed my heart the past couple of week is young children excited about Black Panther and having representation. It is so important for young black children to see people in the media world (books and movies) that looks like them. And it is important to see POSITIVE representation. Black Panther did this for little black boys and girls. To see a child’s face light up doing the movie is an imaginary I will never forget.
The little girl in me wonders why Disney didn’t have dolls on the shelf as Black Panther premiered representing Shuri, Okoye, and Nakia (note there is a Nakia action figure available for sale). The little girl in me wonders about this because dolls were available for sale at the same time as A Winkle In Time premiered. Did Black Panther have to prove itself as a movie that the majority would watch? Will black parents not buy black dolls? Is there not a market for minority representation in toy land?
I am perplexed as to why Disney didn’t have these awesome women represented in toy form. The movie itself is already a part of a successful franchise (which by the way is own by Disney – but nevertheless). Why didn’t someone push for these action figures to be on the shelf as Black Panther was appearing around the world? Trust me when I say they would have not been on the shelves long at all.
While there has been great strides made with African Americans being portrayed in a positive light we still have a long way to go in consistency of representation and realizing our magnificent culture is and can be a billion dollar business.