The Literary Drover No. 4544


Read to learn.

Read to know.

Read to understand.


Read to encounter the Self.

Read to achieve Individuality.

Read to experience Humanity.


– James C. Hess

The Literary Drover No. 3072

The theatrical release of the film BLACK PANTHER has once more introduced into The Conversation (as I call it) the matter of race, which is certain to provoke and antagonize. Of course, if this aspect of The Conversation were based in honesty, the matter of race would be moot because it would be previously accepted that there is only one race – the human race. There is not a black race or a white race or a brown race. There is the human race, and within the human race there are physical attributes that include the color of skin which define us as individuals. It is these attributes along with characteristics that contribute to an individual identify – height, weight, hair color, eye color. Add formal education, intelligence, experience, and the result becomes the framework for a tapestry without precedent or equal.

I have been asked many times if I plan to see BLACK PANTHER. I will plan to do so when I can watch it in the comfort of my own home, where I will not be distracted or interrupted by armchair experts seated behind me and in front of me in the cathedral of shadows and lights, given to outbursts and catcalls intended to provoke and inconvenience. What I know of the film suggests that it merits consideration and respect, and that can only be accomplished in an environment where I can give it my full attention and not be concerned with an impending kneecap in the back of my head because the guy behind me had to make several trips to the snack bar and the restroom.

Based on my knowledge of the film, having read the original screenplay and the shooting script, I believe that I should see it for one reason. To answer the question that must be the standard: Does it tell me a good story or not? That and that alone should be the basis of a film. Not the color of skin of the hero.