Black Panther is more than a movie for Grown-ish star Yara Shahidi. After attending the Los Angeles premiere, the 18-year-old actress penned an essay for The Hollywood Reporter to share her thoughts on Marvel's latest film and what it means to her as a young black woman.
"Films can unabashedly be about the black experiences and how these experiences are not niche but complex and worth living on a global stage," read her essay.
She later continued, "Superheroes, because of the history of a white aesthetic, have been very homogeneous—and with the creation of the world of Wakanda, a certain feeling washed over me, searching and finding the superhero in me."
Shahidi also wrote about Black Panther's ability to disrupt the culture and "normalize" blackness.
"Black Panther is breaking barriers as a movie and as a cultural moment; making me feel like I have permission to celebrate our diverse culture, while demonstrating to corporations and studios alike that our art is important and profitable," it read. "The success of this movie is undeniable, and I'm so fortunate that my younger brothers and I are growing up in the era of Black Panther—an era in which our blackness is not only being normalized but honored."
It seems that Shahidi isn't the only one showing major love for the film. Although it hits theaters tomorrow (Feb. 16), it's already broken records for the most advanced ticket sales in 24 hours on Fandango. It's also projected to rake in $165 million during its opening weekend, making it No. 5 on the Marvel Cinematic Universe's all-time opening weekend's list after The Avengers ($207.4 million), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million), Captain America: Civil War ($179 million), and Iron Man 3 ($174 million).
But as we anticipate Black Panther's final numbers, you can read Shahidi's entire piece here.