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Gallery: 'Black Panther' Filmgoers Display Pride Over a Cultural Turning Point

February 20, 2018, 7:08 AM by  Alan Stamm

A stylish couple poses before seeing "Black Panther" Friday night. (Photos by William L. Daniels)

We can visit Wakanda in Northeast Africa only via Marvel comics and its "Black Panther" screen smash, but there's nothing fictional about the ancestral pride some moviegoers feel and display at theaters.

Their journey through heroic heritage, timeless culture and film fantasy starts with poses at lobby banners showing King T'Challa, his sister Shuri, General Okoye, royal mother Ramonda and other screen characters. More than a few imaginative visitors dress as though they descend from African royalty -- and who knows, really?

Shawntay Dalon traces her roots to Benin and Togo.

"Lineage: Benin and Togo," posts Shawntay Dalon, an actor (not in the film) who lives in Detroit and Los Angeles. She wore a neck pendant and earrings with the outline of Africa to a two-hour Friday night premiere party before a screening at Emagine Royal Oak. It was hosted by I Am The G.R.I.N.D., a media design, music production and apparel company that introduced a new T-shirt line. (The initials stand for Go Relentlessly In New Direction.)

"What a beautiful night," Dalon says on Facebook. "'Black Panther' is an amazing film --  so much rich wisdom and power. . . . And the fact that this set heights for the African culture and roots is history."

Her photo at right and all but two of those below are by William L. Daniels, a Detroit portrait and wedding photographer hired by the event host. He lets Deadline Detroit share some of the 34 images at his Instagram page.

"You can’t just walk into the theater in any old outfit. You have to come correct," writes Jamilah Jackson at The Neighborhoods, a City of Detroit information site that lists four stores that "have you covered." Her vivid look starts this gallery of nine more photos:

Jamila Jackson, a City of Detroit media department writer, poses in her movie premiere look. (Twitter photo)
Rear: Brandon Miles, left, and Roe Dayzon | Front, from left: Patrice Miles, Jezar Riches, Shawntay Dalon and Tecora Rogers (Photo by Will L. Daniels)

Lindsay H., left, and theater director Sam White, founder of Shakespeare in Detroit. (Twitter photo)

Two proud princes of Wakanda, if only for a night. (Photo by Will Daniels, as are all below)

Mardi Gras meets "Black Panther," smoothly.

We bow with respect, admiration and humble unworthiness, oh yes we surely do.
We call this one "Crouching Panther, Hidden Superhero."


No need to await Halloween to demonstrate this film's crossover appeal.


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