The official poster for Marvel's Black Panther in theaters Feb. 16. (Photo courtesy of Bleeding Cool.)

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Cheering and clapping echoed throughout the movie theater following a TCU-sponsored screening of “Black Panther” Thursday.

The film centers around T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), who becomes king of Wakanda after the death of his father and must protect his nation against threats made to his rule.

Sponsored by the TCU Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services, Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies (CRES), the Black Student Association and TCU Athletics, this film earned the approval of many TCU students.

Esperance Bwenyi, a sophomore, said the movie was fresh and unique.

“It was really exciting, as it was intended to be,” Bwenyi said. “What was there not to like about it? It was something that we’ve never really seen before in cinematic history.”

After the screening, students majoring in CRES led a brief discussion with those in attendance.

“I was really impressed with how strong the women were,” Dominique Cook said.

Others spoke about the stereotypes that were addressed in the film.

“The film showed every tribe and beautifully portrayed African royalty,” said one student in the crowd.

Another student in attendance pointed out that the film demonstrated a responsibility for those who are younger and just coming into civic power.

“This film bridges the gap to solve the issues that past generations have made us victims of,” she said.

When asked about the significance of the film being released in 2018, some were quick to point out the similarities to what society faces today.

“It centered around a lot of issues we experience right now and how we can’t turn to weapons or violence because it makes us become the oppressor,” said one student in attendance.

Another student stated that the film “totally contradicts” what President Donald Trump says about the value of black lives and that it “demolished his ideals” regarding people of color.

One student explained that the film was probably inspired by the civil rights movement: “Huey Newton and Angela Davis were Black Panthers, and now T’Challa becomes an honorary Black Panther.”

After the event, several students spoke further about the significance of the film. First-year student Ashley Parks said the movie juxtaposed commonly perpetuated stereotypes of African-Americans with reality.

“It was an incredible and much-needed depiction of the beauty that is African American and African people,” Parks said. “In a world of hateful rhetoric that is so prevalent, it’s nice to see that diversity is beautiful. Just the championing of diversity is great to see in this point in time.”

First-year student Keja Johnson highlighted the fact that the film advocates for unity and community.

“I think the film is trying to say we all bleed the same, we all bleed blood,” Johnson said. “Whether I’m African-American, whether I’m African, whether I’m white, we all have one thing in common: we’re human and we want to live in harmony. We should just stop all the drama and just come together as a nation, or as a community of people.”