"Black Panther" is for film what Barack Obama was for the presidency

The title character has had an interesting evolution. He’s already a cultural crossover success. He was introduced in 2016 in Marvel’s well-received “Avengers: Civil War” in 2016, where he appeared alongside other superheroes, such as “Iron Man,” “Spiderman” and “Captain America.” But Black Twitter, and beyond, had been champing at the bit for him to not only leave the comic book pages and reach the silver screen, but to become the central focus of a film. And it’s happening at the perfect time.

When Barack Obama was in office, black America, as proud as it was to see black excellence in the White House, was still processing just what it meant to have the first black president show up during our lifetimes — and we are in some ways still processing.

It was hard to balance the pride of his accomplishments — helping steer the country away from a potential depression; securing health reform (something no president before him could accomplish) getting Osama bin Laden; and saving the domestic auto industry — with bleaker realities that included a stubborn inequality, a controversial drone war that may have caused as much harm as it prevented, and racial imbalances that barely budged.