Black Panther has taken the world by storm, experiencing box office success across North America, Europe, Africa and, to many in Hollywood’s surprise given a long history of rejecting films with Black leads, Asia.
Furthermore, a Blockbuster Hollywood film that centralizes Black characters and their narratives in authentic ways both in front of and behind the camera, and that also weaves in discussions about colonialism and slavery, is groundbreaking within the current socio-political context; it’s also deeply needed.
Despite this, online comments about Black Panther have been accusing it of Islamophobia, with some even going as far as to tell Muslims to boycott the film.
I am a diaspora Somali Canadian based in Toronto, Ontario. I am an educator, researcher with a focus on diversity and inclusion, curriculum development, public engagement, immigration, and Criminal Justice System working with underserved and underemployed Black youth in Toronto. As a co-founder of the Canadian Association of Muslim Women in Law (CAMWL) I have organized public education forums and co-authored a paper exploring issues of Islamophobia and anti-Black racism and how they intersect in the lives of Black Muslim Canadians.