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Meet the #BlackStarPower Behind the Scenes of Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’

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Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

*Judging by the endless photos popping up across social media of Black folks dressing up in African gear to attend screenings of Marvel’s “Black Panther,” it’s safe to conclude that the film has ignited a collective “pride” that’s sweeping the nation.

Not only is the superhero action adventure empowering black folks on the big screen, but there are some major #BlackStarPower players working behind the scenes to help serve up the magic.

The crew that made this highly anticipated film a reality was helmed by director Ryan Coogler and included production director Hannah Beachler, costume designer Ruth E. Carter and a few others noted in a recent Huff Post report. 

Below are the seven Black creatives working behind the camera on “Black Panther,” via The Huff Post.

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WASHINGTON, DC – February 11:
Ryan Coogler, director of the hit movie “Black Panther”, on February 11, 2018, in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Ryan Coogler told the San Francisco Chronicle that he used his struggles with his cultural identity as fuel for this project.

“You see media that can make you feel ashamed to be African. They can make it feel like it’s a shameful thing,” Coogler said. “I think it’s not. For me, the biggest thing on this was making this awesome, globe-trotting political thriller that just happens to be about Africans. It’s the best way to accomplish that goal and that’s what Marvel was interested in doing — that’s what I was interested in doing.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Production designer Hannah Beachler at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Hannah Beachler, the film’s production director, built the nation of Wakanda. Beachler, who also worked on Beyoncé’s visual album “Lemonade,” said she looked at the work of modern architects who designed on the continent as well as traditional aspects of the diaspora.

“I drew from a lot of different places, I think, and keeping the tradition involved in the aesthetic and the design language was of the utmost importance, because it’s about black representation, the black future and agency using architecture and history and science and myth and biomimetics, and biomorphosis, and all of that went into the design,” she told Film School Rejects.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Screenwriter Joe Robert Cole at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Joe Robert Cole is the co-writer behind “Black Panther.” Along with Coogler, Cole drew inspiration and themes from Africa and infused them into the fictional nation of Wakanda.

“For so long there was a limited pool of people who had the opportunity to tell stories so that limited the perspective of the story being told. I think there is a fatigue with that perspective,” Cole told The Guardian. “This is a movie that steps out of that in an amazing way. There’s a hunger for new lenses on the world, new ways of seeing stories. We spoke from our perspective.”

HOLLYWOOD, CA – JANUARY 29: Costume designer Ruth E. Carter at the Los Angeles World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER at Dolby Theatre on January 29, 2018, in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

Ruth E. Carter, a legendary costume designer who’s worked on dozens of classic films, is the mastermind behind the film’s wardrobe.

“We wanted to honor [culture and tradition] in this futuristic way and a lot of the details of the indigenous African tribes easily translate into a futuristic model so that part of it was super fun to do and it was like no one had even really thought of it like that,” she told HuffPost.

ATLANTA, GA – APRIL 28: Producer Nate Moore attends “Captain America: Civil War” Atlanta screening at Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16 on April 28, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Nate Moore, an executive producer who has worked on several Marvel films, explained to CBS News that the #BlackStarPower represented in “Black Panther” is essential.

“There’s such an underserved population of people just aching for positive images of themselves on screen,” he said. “In this case, obviously the African-American and African communities seeing representations like T’Challa and Nakia and Okoye and all these great characters in the context of doing good and being heroic is valuable because those images don’t exist that much. And so I think and I hope this movie can be a watershed to see other films like this.”

As head of the hair department for the film, stylist Camille Friend told The Root that she brought traditional, contemporary and futuristic African styles to help represent black hair.

“We had an important job to do, and I looked at it in a whole different way, because it represents my people,” she said.

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 12: Douriean Fletcher attends Marvel Studios Presents: Black Panther Welcome To Wakanda during February 2018 New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Industria Studios on February 12, 2018, in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)

Douriean Fletcher created the jewelry and armor that adorns the Dora Milaje, the women of Wakanda’s special forces team. The jeweler worked closely with Carter to deliver the accessories needed to equip the fictional kingdom.

“Ruth liked what I consider to be an ancient yet futuristic aesthetic and with her understanding of my skill set, creativity, innovation and work ethic, she saw it fit for me to take on such a critical role for this project,” she told the Los Angeles Sentinel.

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