Marvel Studios’ action-packed Black Panther trailer has brought a consensus of excitement within the Black Twitter community, where many are holding their stance as negative criticism surfaced after the poster and visual preview premiered on Friday evening (June 9). The poster includes a suited Chadwick Boseman with a vengeful look in his eye. The controversy surrounding the image is its resemblance to the iconic photo of Black Panther co-founder, Huey P. Newton in similar stance holding a spear and gun on either side of him.
Marvel’s “Black Panther” poster is a reminiscent to the founder of the Black Panther party Huey P. Newton’s iconic photo. pic.twitter.com/7HthigP6T1
— Crystal Johnson (@Crystal1Johnson) June 9, 2017
First thing that came to mind regarding the new #BlackPanther poster is the image of Huey P. Newton. @hammer_museum had huge exhibit in Feb. pic.twitter.com/NXNaOZ7i3E
— Rhiannon Walker (@InstantRHIplay) June 9, 2017
Some are in disagreement that the creative direction of the poster even incorporated the thought of the nationalist organization’s co-founder, claiming that a Walt Disney Pictures film wouldn’t associate itself with the activist.
Y’all think Disney would want to associate with Huey P Newton who is holding a gun and a spear? LMAOOOOOOO
— Blow a 3-1 lead SZN (@JAY_BZA) June 9, 2017
I’m 200% positive Huey Newton wasn’t on anyone’s mind when that Black Panther poster was made.
— Nguyening (@Eddie_Vietnam) June 10, 2017
But of course, the Black Twitter Caucus had to represent for the culture.
this is some Huey P Brilliance right chea. https://t.co/eggugrxh8t
— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) June 9, 2017
You realize how brilliant this is, right? Match it with the old Huey P Newton gun spear portrait and you get it. https://t.co/eDJ4TFVDmK
— Cheo Hodari Coker (@cheo_coker) June 9, 2017
While history often associates the Black Panther Party with violence and anti-establishment militancy, the regurgitated narrative often fails to emphasize the philanthropic contributions that the Black Panthers were grounded in.
The most popular of the organization’s programs was the Free Breakfast program founded in Berkeley, CA in 1968 which provided breakfast for over 20,000 elementary- and junior high school-aged children. Not to mention, their People’s Free Medical Centers (PFMC) provided various healthcare services to 13 different cities and propelled the service providers into becoming credentialed healthcare professionals.
Why wouldn’t a production company want to associate its film with a historic, innovative philanthropic community organization? After all, they do share the same name.