There is a lack of representation of a variety of racial and ethnic groups in all media forms, my study will be focusing specifically on presentation of characters in Black Panther. Black Panther is the first major motion Marvel superhero movie with a Black majority cast, writers and director. Additionally, there are many women present and actively participating in the film, which is often a rarity. Due to the massive $1.344 billion box office revenue and the widely cited references in popular culture (from music to Halloween costumes) that came with the release of Black Panther it is fair to say that people felt a connection to something in Black Panther. Perhaps that “something” had to do with the representation of racial, ethnic, and gender minority identity groups that were given a platform through this film. This study will investigate the effect that the identity of a superhero has on the audience’s interpretations of the character based on their own intersectional identities. Through an ethnographic methodological approach, interviews were collected at the 2018 New York Comic Con as well as an additional sample population at The College of Wooster. An in-depth analysis of the interview involved reference to individual’s self-described identities and consideration of their responses to the film. The data was then reviewed through theoretical frameworks including anthropological conceptions of otherness, Africana studies references to pan-Africanism, double-consciousness of ethnic or national groups, transnational and diasporic emotional elicited responses, emphasis on representation in media, and identity group formation and connection.


Navarro-Farr, Olivia


Sociology and Anthropology


Arts and Humanities


Media, Representation, Film, Identity, Africana Studies, Gender Studies, Ethnic Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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