Women of Black Panther inspired generations with their fierce performances

“You can judge a nation, and how successful it will be, based on how it treats its women and its girls.”

That’s a real-life 2014 quote from President Barack Obama, but it applies perfectly to the fictional realm of Wakanda. The advanced African nation from the Marvel Cinematic Universe is ruled by a warrior king who defends his homeland with the help of vibranium-enhanced armor and claws, but his superpowers are enhanced by the equally dynamic and brilliant women who are empowered by their culture — and now inspire ours.

In Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, Danai Gurira played Okoye, the stoic tactician and head of the all-female Dora Milaje secret service, while Letitia Wright costarred as Shuri, the little sister with a Nobel Prize mind for devising medical treatments, weapons, and gadgets galore. Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o exuded intensity as Nakia, a Wakandan “war dog” spy who wields charm and beauty in as lethal a fashion as her ring blades. And Angela Bassett brought a wisdom and fearlessness to the ear of the king as his mother, Ramonda.

It’s a nation that respects and reveres women. They think of us not just as Queen but Queen Mother. Mother is nurturer and the first teacher.

~ Angela Bassett

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