The women of ‘Black Panther’ cover Elle, talk about their ‘unapologetically black’ film

11.2018 BP Cover

Elle Magazine’s November issue is their annual Women In Hollywood issue, which means multiple covers and multiple cover stories. Interestingly, three of the women from Black Panther are one of the covers: Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Danai Gurira. Black Panther came out months ago, so why are they still promoting it? I’ll give you a hint: magazines usually devote their November and December covers to Oscar hopefuls. That’s right, the cast of Black Panther truly believes that their film should be a Best Picture contender. And they’re not wrong either. It *should* be a contender. But will it be? I don’t know. You can see Elle’s cover package for these ladies here. Some highlights:

Angela Bassett on the importance of women in Black Panther: “The women were integral to the storytelling and the wisdom that the main character possessed. It was really important in terms of the representation of black feminine strength.”

Angela Bassett on the impact of Black Panther: “We all felt the anticipation but had no idea how it would mushroom, or that it would be so global and smash whatever preconceived notions we’ve heard for decades—that stories like this about these people won’t travel as well or won’t generate financially on such a huge scale.”

Lupita Nyong’o on relating to her character, Nakia: “Nakia was a departure from the character you see in the comic books. She is an independent woman and a bit of a rebel but also a loyalist to her country. I am also someone who depends on my family and friends and feels a connection to my people, and maybe has a sense of responsibility to make them proud. So I really related to that balancing act within oneself.”

Danai Gurira on Wakanda as a society: “[It] was celebratory of everyone equally [regardless of gender]. You see that in my character. She’s able to excel.”

Lupita on how women get to save the day: “In our story, the emphasis is on many different women holding their own space,” says Nyong’o, describing the film as “a Marvel universe that is unapologetically black.”

[From Elle]

I remember, years ago, reading an explanation for why the phrase “unapologetically black” needs to be retired, and it’s interesting to see Lupita use it here. The explanation was basically that by saying anyone or anything is “unapologetically” black, there’s the implicit assumption that blackness is something for which an apology is normally needed. I know that’s not how Lupita is using it, but still. As for the importance of the women’s stories within Black Panther… I agree for the most part, although I do think that the women were used too much “in service” of the male characters, but that’s more of a superhero-film problem rather than a Black Panther-specific problem.


Photos courtesy of Katja Rahlwes for Elle Magazine, sent from promotional Elle email.

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20 Responses to “The women of ‘Black Panther’ cover Elle, talk about their ‘unapologetically black’ film”

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  1. Rapunzel says:

    This is great, but needs some Shuri.

  2. Miss Grace Jones says:

    The cover looks so cheaply done and rushed but every single one of them is painfully stunning so that makes up for it. Symbols of perfection.

  3. Laura says:

    YAS! More Black Girl Magic!! This is needed today and I hope it brings as much joy to others as it did to me to see such fierce women happy together. <3

  4. Onemoretime says:

    So much beautiful melanin in one photo! I love all of those beautiful, intelligent and talented women.

  5. BooRadley says:

    so much going on in the world and US today, but sadly all this beauty has not been appreciated and commented on. We need to appreciate the diversity and the beauty as often as we can to help keep the hatred (even for those who hate us) out of our hearts.

  6. BaeBae says:

    My prediction is this AMAZING post will have no more than 10 comments.

  7. whatWHAT? says:

    Damn that is a LOT of gorgeousness and fierceness and talent in one picture.

    blow it up, ladies.

  8. Miasys says:

    I love this! They are all so fierce and clearly extremely conscious of the importance of representation for young women. I am 2000% here for it. They are all so beautiful. I think Angela Basset may be immortal. Lupita is incandescent.

  9. Sandy says:

    Gorgeous women!!

  10. Ruyana says:

    I saw the movie in the theater. Loved it. Bought the Bluray and have watched it over and over so I’m surprised the disc doesn’t fall into rings.

  11. ... nik. says:

    Unap. Black means not white-washed. Perfect term in a black-phobic world.

  12. Denise says:

    That cover shot does not do justice to these amazing women! I fell in love with them all in the film!!

  13. Flying fish says:


  14. AustenGirl1975 says:

    Those women are all stunning and exude joy in these pictures. Black Panther was a gorgeous movie, and it was so refreshing to see Black excellence depicted on screen and celebrated by everybody connected to the film.

  15. Neverwinter says:

    Gorgeous cover! Though to me it’s missing Leticia Wright (Shuri)! I want to see more of her everywhere!

  16. Mo' Comments Mo' Problems says:

    I love this movie. These ladies and Letitia Wright brought the film to life and kept it going. They did a fantastic job!