The cast of Black Panther cover the March issue of ESSENCE and while fans are excited to see Chadwick Boseman’s T’Challa suit up and kick butt, they’re just as excited to see the Dora Milaje, T’Challa’s elite all-female guards, tackle a few bad guys.
And, they aren’t the only ladies set to inspire many. Angela Bassett’s Queen Rowanda is the epitome of regal and Letitia Wright’s Shuri is a tech genius.
Explaining the importance of such strong Black women in the film, Boseman said, “We can have really strong Black women who don’t have to be damsels in distress, who are independent and powerful, who can also fall in love at the same time.”
Bassett, who has an envious career and numerous awards under her belt including a Golden Globe, says that despite the roles she’s had the opportunity to play, royalty is rare.
“Just to have the opportunity to portray that, image—me, a little Black girl from the Florida projects,” she told ESSENCE. “Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.”
She scoffs, “Why can’t I be?”
Black Panther arrives in theaters Friday, Feb. 16. And, you can pick up the March issue of ESSENCE Feb. 23.